2 GW solar plant moves forward in Queensland

Despite the chill imposed by policy uncertainty on renewable energy development in Australia, a massive solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant in Queensland appears to be moving forward, now that it has received planning approval from a local government body, the Pan African News Agency reported on February 10. On February 9, the Toowoomba Regional Council approved a total footprint of 2 gigawatt (GW) of capacity to be developed over the next eight years for the Bulli Creek Solar Farm in southern Queensland. Solar Choice is developing the facility on 13,000 acres of cleared cattle land, a few kilometers from a 330 kilovolt substation near Millmerran. The Bulli Creek Solar Farm is one of a very small number of mega-scale solar projects that Solar Choice is attempting to strategically locate at key transmission nodes in areas with high solar irradiation, according to Angus Gemmell, Solar Choice’s managing director. The uncertainties surrounding Australia’s renewable energy policy remain a hurdle, the company acknowledges, but it says the Bulli Creek project is attracting attention from a range of global investors.