Construction has commenced on Shell’s first industrial-scale solar electricity farm near Wandoan in central Queensland.
The 120-megawatt solar farm will connect to the National Electricity Market grid with the capacity to generate enough clean energy to power 50,000 homes.
Energy Minister Dr Lynham said the solar farm will generate clean energy for QGC’s natural gas processing plants, showing how gas as a transition fuel and clean energy assets can coexist.
“With Shell sanctioning this 400,000-panel solar farm it will become part of Queensland’s clean energy revolution, which is providing the world a practical template on how to transition to low emissions future,” Dr Lynham said.
“The Darling Downs and South West Queensland is literally an energy powerhouse, these regions have developed the unprecedented large scale $70 billion onshore gas industry from a standing start, now it is hosting some of the largest clean energy generators in the country.”
“I welcome Shell’s first global investment in an industrial-scale solar farm on Queensland soil and I am also pleased they have recognised the Iman people, the traditional owners of the land of where the farm will be constructed and named the project Gangarri.”
“Gangarri is a fitting name for the project, Gan meaning sun and Garri meaning light in the Iman peoples dialect,” Dr Lynham said.
Shell Australia chairman Tony Nunan said solar will play an increasing role in the global energy system, especially when partnered with a reliable energy source such as gas.
“This is Shell’s first global investment in an industrial-scale solar farm, and we are proud to be investing in the ‘Sunshine State’ as a key centre of activity under Shell’s global ambition to expand our integrated power business.”
“It will help power the operations of our QGC project and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by around 300,000 tonnes a year,” he added.
Shell’s Gangarri Solar Farm is expected to create up to 200 jobs during construction, of which 70 will be local.
Construction of the solar farm is expected to be completed in early 2021.