The Australian Financial Press is reporting that a solar farm is in the works in the state of Queensland, and it’s being dubbed “the next generation of wind power”.
The state government is investing $1.2bn in the project, which is expected to create 3,000 permanent jobs, and will allow for up to 20 gigawatts of renewable energy, according to the report.
The project, called Solar Ranch, was first unveiled by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in 2015, and is expected by 2019.
The facility, currently under construction in Townsville, will include a large array of solar panels, which will produce about 1,000 megawatts of electricity.
Solar Ranch is located in the Brisbane suburb of Red Hill, and was originally slated to be finished in 2021, but the project has been delayed for two years, according the report, which says that the project is being scaled back due to “the challenging economic climate”.
The government has invested $100m in the development so far, with $50m from the state’s $10bn renewable energy fund.
However, the company’s CEO, David Hill, told the Queensland Independent newspaper that the state is looking to fund a third of the $1 billion project, as the solar industry has been “severely affected by the global financial crisis”.
He said the government will support projects that meet local needs, and that the company would continue to invest in renewable energy.
The company’s plan to build the project in the Sunshine State will also be open to the public.
Mr Hill said the project will also create 3 million jobs and bring “massive economic benefits to the state”.
The Queensland Government is already investing in wind farms in Queensland.
In 2016, the state government allocated $3.4 billion in public funds for renewable energy projects.
The Queensland Electricity Authority (QEA) has also recently announced plans to invest $1,000 per megawatt hour into solar power.
The state has a $20bn renewable portfolio target, which means the amount of renewable electricity that will be produced is expected be around $30bn by 2020.
The State Government is expected “to continue to support the construction and operation of solar energy projects and renewable energy generation capacity in Queensland, including the development of new projects and the purchase of land,” according to a QEA press release.