Council approves Pacific Hydro solar farm

Pacific Hydro has been given the green light to build one of Australia’s largest solar farms west of Giru, after Burdekin Shire Council this week approved the development.

Up to 240 jobs are expected to be created during the construction phase of the Haughton Solar Farm, with up to 10 ongoing jobs during the operational phase.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the solar farm would be built in three stages over eight years and reach up to a maximum capacity of 500MW, enough to power about 170,000 homes.

Council’s approval of the project was subject to the applicant meeting conditions, including upgrading part of the road used to access the site.

“We know Burdekin is ideal for large scale solar farms as it is recognized as having high levels of irradiation, along with large areas of flat terrain,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“The approved development is for a large-scale solar farm and battery storage facility to be built over a development area of 1,181ha at Keith Venables Road in the Upper Haughton.

“The Pacific Hydro solar farm represents a major investment in our Shire and in the Burdekin’s potential as a solar energy powerhouse of the future.”

The Pacific Hydro development now becomes the third large scale solar farm to gain approval in the Burdekin.

Cr McLaughlin said the project met the intent and desired outcomes of Council’s Planning Scheme.

“The use does not compromise the long term productive capacity of the land nor does it negatively impact on current soil classes,” she said.

“If the solar farm becomes unviable or past its operational lifespan, the land can be converted back to agricultural land unencumbered.”

For further information please visit Council’s website or contact Council’s Customer Service Centre on (07) 4783 9800.

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