Saturday, 3 June 2017

REVEALED: Huge Rocky solar farm brings 100+ jobs

Extract from The Morning Bulletin

HOT JOBS: One of the nation's largest solar farm companies has announced plans to create a 200-plus megawatt plant in Central Queensland. Trevor Veale
UPDATE 12.30PM: ROUGHLY 130 people will be needed to construct one of Australia's largest solar farms, set on a 485 hectare block on Rockhampton's outskirts. 
Mark Love, head of Eco Energy World Australia, said the company wanted to discuss plans with the community before making a formal development application.
A community meeting is set to take place in Bouldercombe at 7pm, which will be open to questions and "as much discussion as possible". 
"This is a community consultation process, which we felt was important to the people of Bouldercombe," Mr Love said.
The construction phase will be the main opportunity for jobs, with upwards of 130 estimated for the project.   
During the operational phase, spanning 30 years, Mr Love said four to six people would be employed full-time to maintain the panels and block.
Mr Love said the company promoted the use of local businesses, with a contractors register which would be passed on to the construction company.
"It's a fantastic opportunity for Rockhampton and for Queensland to meet renewable energy targets," Mr Love said.
 "Solar is quickly becoming the choice for renewable energy, given its decreasing cost year on year and Queensland, particularly Rockhampton is a very attractive place.
"We're very keen this goes smoothly through the planning process."
Eco Energy Australia is owned by a UK-based developer with solar plants in the UK, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Russia and Sweden.
They have several other projects approved in Queensland which are set to begin construction this year, including a 140 megawatt farm near Maryborough and a 20 megawatt plant near Chinchilla.
Mr Love said the plant would have little impact on the area once built, with little activity apart from occasional mowing.
"We do pay particular attention to weed control and fire risk," he said.
"We also address visual impact by screening, we screen with native species as much as possible.
"All our solar farms, we don't remove any protected vegetation.
"Our policy is always to retain as much vegetation as possible, particularly with corridors for animals."  
10.30AM: ONE of the nation's largest solar farm companies has announced plans to create a 200-plus megawatt plant in Central Queensland.
Eco Energy World Australia will meet with the Bouldercombe community tonight to discuss plans for one of the biggest solar farms in Australia.
An application has yet to be lodged with Rockhampton Regional Council, but Councillor Ellen Smith said the project could create hundreds of jobs.
"There's potential for hundreds of local jobs while the farm is being built and further jobs once it's completed, as well as helping Queensland to achieve its renewable energy targets ," Cr Smith said. 
"It's really about our region leading the way with eco-friendly and renewable energy sources for our community. 
"It's very exciting and in the early stages, but our future is looking cleaner and greener thanks to international companies looking to invest in our region." 
More to come. 

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