Darling Downs solar farm ramping up region's renewable energy

Darling Downs solar farm ramping up region's renewable energy

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Energy Minister Anthony Lynham, CEO and managing director of APA Group Rob Wheals, Mayor of Western Downs Regional Council Paul McVeigh inspecting solar farm.

Energy Minister Anthony Lynham, CEO and managing director of APA Group Rob Wheals, Mayor of Western Downs Regional Council Paul McVeigh inspecting solar farm.

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A $200 million solar farm at Kogan has joined the National Electricity Market, providing enough energy to power up to 36,000 homes.

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A $200 million solar farm at Kogan has joined the National Electricity Market, providing enough energy to power up to 36,000 homes.

The Darling Downs Solar Farm, owned by APA Group, was officially opened today, with energy minister Anthony Lynham joining APA Group executives to inspect the facility, 45 km west of Dalby.

Speaking at the opening, energy minister Dr Lynham said Queensland was becoming a renewable energy powerhouse.

"What's happening here is almost $5 billion worth of investment in the Western Downs," he said.

"The Western Downs is doing the right thing because it already has gas, it's getting renewable generation coming on in spades so the Western Downs will be a powerhouse for Queensland and indeed the nation."

Meanwhile three more large-scale solar farms are under construction in the Darling Downs, providing more than 300 jobs for local communities.

"The Darling Downs Solar Farm is APA's first renewable project in Queensland and is a stone's throw away Origin Energy's Darling Downs gas power station," Dr Lynham said.

"In fact, the benefits of co-location means clean energy generators like Darling Downs Solar Farm reduce their project footprint meaning less impacts on the local community whilst tapping into existing transmission infrastructure."

The 402 hectare solar farm, APA Group's sixth clean energy project in Australia, features more than 423,000 solar panels and has a capacity of 110 megawatts.

APA Group CEO and managing director Rob Wheals said the new solar farm is a world class renewables facility that demonstrates APA's commitment to sustainable and responsible energy.

"It showcases what can be achieved when industry, government and communities come together with a common goal," he said.

"We're continuing to grow our capabilities in renewable energy infrastructure as part of our growth strategy. Darling Downs Solar Farm is part of our growing renewables infrastructure portfolio, which will, together with our gas infrastructure, contribute to Australia's transition to a lower carbon economy."

Aerial view of the Darling Downs solar farm.

Aerial view of the Darling Downs solar farm.

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