Queensland’s “solar capital” approves 15th large-scale PV project

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Western Downs Regional Council, west of Brisbane, has approved its 15th large-scale solar farm – a 148MW project at Cameby, west of Chinchilla.

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The large-scale solar boom unfolding in Queensland’s Western Downs region continues to gain momentum, with council reportedly approving its 15th large-scale PV farm – a 148MW project at Cameby.

The Chinchilla News said on Thursday that the Western Downs Regional Council had this month given the go-ahead for the construction of the solar farm – the developers of which are not named – 12km west of Chinchilla on the Warrego Highway.

The approval marks the latest among a number of high profile projects, including Neoen Australia’s 500MW Western Downs Green Power Hub, at Hopeland – the 11th solar farm approved by Council in the last two-and-a-half years.

Another, approved in September last year, is the 250MW Western Downs Solar Project – a joint venture between Yellow Solar and Tilt Renewables that will be built near the existing Kogan Creek Power Station, and potentially include battery storage.

Mayor Paul McVeigh said this week that the approval for the Cameby project continued the council’s push for a diverse energy industry.

“The Western Downs is committed to growing our energy sector,” he told the local paper.

“This is the second solar farm which has been approved in as many months, showing our continued commitment to renewable energy.”

The other project he refers to is a 100MW project to be built at Columboola, between Miles and Chinchilla.

Council says the applicants for the Cameby solar farm – which will be built on land currently used for grazing – have completed informal community engagement with the landowners and residents of neighbouring properties.

In a statement in August, McVeigh said many farmers in the region were considering other uses for their land, and looking at solar farms as a way of protecting their income in future droughts.

“The benefits of solar farms with low environmental impact is that at any time, the land can be considered for other uses,” he said.

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