60 JOBS: Council approves $80 million solar farm

Queensland Times – Lachlan McIvor – 22 July 2020

IPSWICH City Council has approved an $80 million solar farm, which the proponent says will create 60 jobs.

A development application to construct the commercial scale facility on a vacant site in Karrabin on the Bremer River has been given the go ahead.

EIWA Karrabin Solar Pty Ltd will develop a 50MWac solar farm along Sherman Rd.

About 77ha of the 85ha site will be covered in 145,000 photovoltaic panels.

“The solar generation would connect to the Energex 33kV network passing through the property with a newly established switching station,” the development application reads.

“The site is bound by the Bremer River to the south and is severed by Campbells Gully, to the west.

“A critical determination of the (environmental) report noted that no ‘of concern’ or ‘endangered’ remnant regional ecosystems would be removed and to a practical extent no ‘endangered’, vulnerable’ or ‘near threatened’ flora or fauna would be impacted by the development.”

An $80 million solar farm has been approved by Ipswich City Council.
An $80 million solar farm has been approved by Ipswich City Council.

The application notes the development would provide a “significant level of offset planting” on the site.

The environmental report noted that no koalas were observed to be on-site and there would be “no significant impact” to local or regional koala populations if the facility were to be built.

The project is expected to create 50 jobs during the construction phase and five full-time staff and five part-time staff when it is operational.

Construction is expected to take anywhere between six months and two years.

“The facility would feed into the existing Energex 33kv transmission lines traversing the site and provide a sustainable energy source for end-users,” the application notes.

“The facility would comprise approximately 145,000 crystalline solar photovoltaic modules known as PV modules or solar panels.

“The solar panels would be fixed on mounting structures and orientated in a position favouring the high solar irradiation periods of morning, midday or afternoon sun.

“Each solar panel contains a number of PV solar cells that covert sunlight into electric current using semi-conductive materials.”