Queensland is well known for being the leader in the Australian solar revolution. With a high solar irradiation, the region of Western Downs has significant acclaim for its pro-solar movement. On last Thursday, Cameby solar farm received approval from the council. This is the 15th large-scale solar project that showcases the region’s unwavering support for solar PV. The farm is set for construction at about 12km to the west of Chinchilla. The project developers remains unannounced.
Cameby Solar Farm
As per reports, the Cameby solar farm will have a capacity of 148MW and located in an area of 463ha that current serves as grazing land with low agricultural value. This announcement follows the approval of the 100MW solar farm at Columboola located between Miles and Chinchilla. The Columboola project received approval from the Western Downs council just a few months prior to Cameby. These projects are forecasted to create large number of job opportunities (short-term and operational phases) in the Chinchilla and Miles districts. As of date, the 1GW Wandoan farm remains the largest PV project in the council. Approved in 2017, the farm covers an area of 1400 ha and generates over 600 jobs with an investment of AUD 1.5 billion. Other significant solar power projects from the region include 500MW Neoen Green Power Hub, 520 MW solar plant with battery storage at the Kogan creek station and the 125 MW Baking Board project.
The council receives numerous applications in a year. This popularity of solar farms in the area can also be attributed to the potential benefit to farmers through long-term rental of their grazing lands. They also provide a buffer to farmers during seasons of drought. During the lifespan of the solar farms, further redevelopment activities will continue on these lands to improve their arability. The region continues to contribute to the state’s 50% renewable energy target (RET) by 2030.