An $80 million solar farm was approved by Ipswich City Council last year.
An $80 million solar farm was approved by Ipswich City Council last year.

Construction of $80m solar farm tipped to create 100 jobs

CONSTRUCTION of a huge solar farm in a rural section of Ipswich could start by the end of the year with an estimated 100 jobs to be created during the project.

Energy company EIWA Queensland, which started operations in Australia in 2018, had a development application approved by Ipswich City Council for the $80 million facility last year.

The EIWA Group has offices in Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong with projects across Asia in countries such as Japan, China and Taiwan.

EIWA Queensland Engineering Director Patrick Lau said construction of the farm is expected to start in the final three months of the year or early next year.

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He estimated it would take up to 10 months to build.

Mr Lau said the site on a vacant lot on Sherman Rd was chosen as it is close to the centre of Ipswich while still being far enough away from residences.

"(It was chosen for its) vicinity to high voltage powerlines to enable grid connection," he said.

"(Its vicinity) allows power to be supplied more efficiently where it's needed.

"It will be EIWA's initiative to locally source as many resources from the city of Ipswich as possible, generating approximately 100 local jobs."

About 110,000 solar panels will have a generating capacity of 60MW.

During operation of the solar farm, between five and 10 jobs will need to be filled for roles including routine inspections, system monitoring, vegetation management, panel maintenance, maintenance work and site security.

"We are currently working with the ICC, local community groups and electricity retailers to enable local business and residences access to cheaper, green energy locally generated by the solar farm," Mr Lau said.

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"The clean energy generated from the Karrabin Solar Farm would be capable of providing many local homes and businesses with a source of green energy and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

"The project will generate jobs during construction and operation and provide energy costs savings to the local community.

"Solar generation is a passive form of power generation and as part of the development approximately 35 per cent of the entire site will be set aside for environmental purposes for the life of the solar farm with an additional 5000 plus native trees to be planted to enhance the native flora along the Bremer River."

Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.



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