FILE PHOTO
FILE PHOTO

Construction to start on 100MW solar farm 'early this year'

THE proponent of a 100MW solar farm outside Toowoomba expects construction will begin early this year, creating 200 jobs.

Managing director Yarranlea Solar Nick Canto said more than 400,000 panels would be needed to complete the project, near Pittsworth.

Once the solar farm is up and running, around four or five full time equivalent jobs will be on offer for the next 30 years of operation.

"It's gotten to the point where it's quite exciting now," he said.

The project recently reached two major milestones.

In November 2017, Yarranlea Solar secured a connection offer with Ergon.

The contract commits Yarranlea Solar to local network augmentation costs in excess of $10 million and ongoing network charges of around $6 million over the life of the project.

Just before Christmas, the project received approval from the Australian Electricity Market Operator.

With those ticks in place, the company can now focus on finalising its capital funding arrangements with an undisclosed equity partner.

Mr Canto hoped an announcement over the project's funding would be able to be made before the end of January.

The solar farm will sell energy into the national grid through a spot market arrangement, he said.

"Basically, when you've got a dispatch signal from the AEMO, you export (power) for whatever the spot price is for that half hourly interval.

It is expected the project will be complete by the end of 2018.


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