A WEEK after the announcement Australia's largest coal mine would be built in the Galilee Basin, Rockhampton Regional Council have approved the construction of one of the nation's biggest solar farms.

Up to 60,000 homes could be powered by the plant, which will be built on a 700ha site along Cherryfield Rd.

Councillor Drew Wickerson said the exciting move was a positive step for the region's future, with the development set to provide upwards of 130 jobs during the construction phase and another four to six long-term maintenance positions over the 30-year lifespan of the facility.

 

Area near Bouldercombe for Gracemere solar farm looking toward Bouldercombe.
Area near Bouldercombe for Gracemere solar farm looking toward Bouldercombe. Allan Reinikka ROK010317asolar1

The development is being headed by Eco Energy World Australia, 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.

 

The proposed area for a solar farm at Bouldercombe.
The proposed area for a solar farm at Bouldercombe. Contributed

But Bouldercombe will be the largest, with estimates indicated in excess of 200 megawatts will be produced.

>>EXPLAINED: How Bouldercombe's huge solar farm will power 60,000 Queensland homes<<

Mayor Margaret Strelow said although Bouldercombe would be one of Australia's largest solar farms, it was still less than half the size of those being developed in India by Adani, the company who is also behind the development of the mega Carmichael Coal Mine.

Cr Strelow described the development's approval as "a very significant step forward in our community in the use of renewable and embracing renewables".



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