Solar farm to boost jobs

Burdekin Shire Council has approved the development of a $280 million Burdekin Solar Farm at Clare, paving the way for hundreds of new jobs – including for local women and young people.

The 140MW solar farm is to be developed by CleanGen Projects on a 227-hectare site.

The facility at maximum capacity will generate up to 343GWh of clean, renewable solar power, enough to power over 47,000 homes and displace 280,000 tonnes of carbon emissions from the atmosphere each year.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the CleanGen Projects solar farm represented a major investment in the Shire and in the Burdekin’s potential as a solar energy powerhouse.

It will create up to 400 construction jobs and 10 operational roles.
“Burdekin Shire Council welcomes renewable energy ventures in our region,” Mayor McLaughlin said.

“The Burdekin, with its abundant sunshine and available land, is very well positioned to accommodate this type of new and exciting industry.

“Our council is all for growing the Burdekin and diversification will ensure growth in employment and a sustainable economy into the future.”

It is the fifth large-scale solar farm to gain approval in the Burdekin Shire.

CleanGen Projects Managing Director Koovashni Reddy said the solar farm included battery storage and would connect to the local grid.

“The battery storage will help produce power when the sun doesn’t shine and assist with grid stability services,” Ms Reddy said.

She said the project would provide opportunities for local youths to undertake apprenticeships.

“We’ll be offering apprenticeships to train local youth and also encouraging employment opportunities for women during the construction and operational phases.”