Green Light For Queensland’s Rodds Bay Solar Farm
The Rodds Bay Solar Farm has recently been approved by the Gladstone Regional Council; a 300MW PV-based facility will be built near the township of Bororen (approximately 50km south of Gladstone).
This will make Rodds Bay will be one of the largest solar farms in Australia. With the expected generation of 625GWh of electricity each year, Rodds Bay will have enough power to provide approximately 88,000 homes with their respective electricity needs. The facility will be established on a currently grazing site, the sheep however will be able to continue accessing the area, which will keep vegetation under control.
Developer Renew Estate input says that the project will provide substantial opportunities for local businesses, contractors and workers, with approximately 300 workers require on-site during the peak of construction. The company has committed to prioritising the employment of locals in ongoing roles/jobs once the Rodds Bay project has become operational.
The site could possibly be decommissioned after its 30-year service life but could also however be refurbished and continue operations. The site will return to its pre-development state if it is decommissioned.
Rodds Bay Solar Farm is to be fully operational by 2020 (beginning construction late 2018).
“More generation and competition mean lower power prices and Renew Estate looks forward to delivering the cheap solar energy produced by this project to consumers and businesses in the greater Gladstone area,” said Director Simon Currie.
The Gladstone region also has the Yarwun Solar Farm project, which is located approximately 7 kilometres west of the city. The capacity of the facility is 32MW and will generate approximately 67 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually.
Wirsol Energy is a major shareholder of the Renew State and has set itself a target of 1 GW of installed capacity within Australia. Last month, Wirsol signed offtake agreements with SIMEC Zen Energy relating to the 89MWp Clermont Solar Farm in Queensland and the 110MWp Wemen Solar Farm in Victoria. Wirsol claims to hold the largest portfolio of solar PV projects across the nation.
Gladstone Small Scale Solar Energy Statistics
Not only does Gladstone have large scale solar projects, it also is the home to a hive of small scale solar activity. Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator has reported the most recent data available which states that there are at least 6,078 solar power systems installed in Gladstone’s postcode (4680), with a combined capacity of 23.89MW.
According to the 2016 Census the population of the postcode (4680) at 54, 166 people. Working out to 440 watts of installed small scale capacity per capita. Across Australia, there’s approximately 282 watts of small scale solar power capacity installed per capita.