$350 million project wins approval on Darling Downs
A SOLAR farm is on its way for Sladevale after being approved by Southern Downs Regional Council yesterday.
Councillors tabled the proposal for the $350million solar energy development, expected to bring 120 construction jobs and up to 40 full-time jobs, in their general meeting in Warwick Chambers.
Deputy Mayor Jo McNally left the room due to a perceived conflict of interest as her home is close to the proposed site but other councillors were quick to approve the project.
Cr Marika McNichol said she was excited to see the high-tech development brought to life.
"It's the first in Queensland with thermal heat capacity and a great incentive for the area," Cr McNichol said.
"A normal solar cell generates power between 9 and 3 but this will be able to generate during peak power.
"It's expected to reduce 18,000 tonnes of carbon footprint a year.
"It's low noise which is important for surrounding properties and the transformer right across road which is very advantageous for project."
Cr Neil Meiklejohn said the solar was a huge boon to bring large-scale renewable energy projects to the region.
"It's great to have an initiative encouraging that level of development in our region," Cr Meiklejohn said.
"It's not the type of technology you see on other homes and businesses around the region.
"Indeed it is state of the art and could be something of an icon for us with economic development with the potential of bringing other renewable energy projects to the Southern Downs."
Councillors Sheryl Windle and Yve Stocks said despite some objections, the project would ultimately be of benefit for the Southern Downs.
"I could not find a reason to oppose the project, I think it will be great for the region," Cr Windle said.
"We understand some understand some people may be apprehensive, but even aesthetically it should look okay with trees planted around the area."
"We've had four objections but two submitters very much in favour of it, including one right across the road," Cr Stocks said.
Australian company Zero Emissions Developments is at the reins of the renewable energy project