Solar farm set for Sunshine Coast energy offset

Queensland's Sunshine Coast Council to reap significant financial benefits through installation of 58,000 solar farm panels.

Image: meesphotography.com

The Sunshine Coast Council will soon become the first local government in Australia to offset 100 per cent of its electricity across all of its facilities and operations with the official commissioning of the Sunshine Coast Solar Farm at Valdora.

Assistant Minister Glenn Butcher, who joined Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson at today’s ceremony, said the solar farm is one of the first large-scale solar farms to be fully operational in Queensland.

“Sixty jobs were supported during the construction of the 15MW solar farm which now has nearly 58,000 panels stretched across the property here on Yandina-Coolum Road,” Mr Butcher said.

“The best part is Sunshine Coast Council will soon start reaping the rewards of its efforts with the farm expected to provide $22 million in savings, after costs, over a 30-year period.

“We’ve seen an unprecedented level of renewable energy investment, with 17 large-scale projects being committed since January 2016.

“These projects, totalling almost 1200 megawatts, will create over 2,200 construction jobs, boost investment by $2.3 billion, and produce enough electricity to power around 520,000 homes.

“When constructed, they will almost double the state’s renewable energy generation output.

“The prospects for future investment in Queensland are also strong, with over 5000 megawatts of projects in the broader pipeline.”

Environment Minister Steven Miles said the Palaszczuk Government had kick-started the renewable energy boom here after a renewable energy blackout under the LNP when no large scale projects were constructed.

“This commitment is another demonstration in the belief Queenslanders, industry and government have in cheaper renewable energy, and that we’re on the right track as we transition responsibly to 50 per cent Renewable Energy by 2030,” Minister Miles said.

Renewable energy is the cheapest and quickest way to deliver new generation which is what we need to put downward pressure on electricity prices – and that’s what the Palaszczuk Government is supporting under the $1.16 billion Powering Queensland Plan.

Minister for Local Government Mark Furner said he had recently visited the Sunshine Coast Solar Farm at Valdora.

“This is a fantastic project and the Sunshine Coast Council should be applauded for striving to become Australia’s most sustainable region,” Minister Furner said.

“The council plans to offset 100 per cent of their electricity consumption across administration buildings, aquatic centres, community and performance venues, as well as holiday parks, libraries, art galleries and sporting facilities.”

The Powering Queensland Plan is the Palaszczuk Government’s road map to lead the transition to a low-carbon economy and deliver jobs and investment.  It is a $1.16 billion investment to ensuring the future security and sustainability of Queensland’s power supply, while putting downward pressure on prices.

“Queensland is experiencing a renewable energy boom, and this project will not only bring more affordable electricity to the Sunshine Coast Council, but will bring flow-on benefits to the people of the Sunshine Coast.”

Energex completed the connection works for the solar farm last month.

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