The University of Queensland (UQ) has officially taken ownership of the Warwick Solar Farm project, sealing a 25-year commitment to the Southern Downs. Final design of the $125 million solar farm will now begin, with construction to create up to 100 jobs from early next year.

UQ Chief Operating Officer Greg Pringle said the University was excited to have entered the next phase of the project after key project milestones were met by renewables developer, Terrain Solar. “UQ is investing over the 25-year life of the solar farm and is keen to see the Southern Downs become a hub for sustainable energy research, education, and engagement,” Greg said. “The solar farm will employ about six people on an ongoing basis in operations and maintenance roles, including a full-time UQ facility manager.”

UQ announced on 30 November that Lendlease would design and construct the project. General Manager of Lendlease’s Energy & Technology business unit, Greg Locke, said they looked forward to partnering with UQ in supporting Australia’s transition to clean energy. “Providing local employment and supplier opportunities will be a key focus for us as UQ’s delivery partner,” he said.

UQ’s purchase of the project followed Terrain finalising a connection agreement with Ergon Energy, and the development approval which was granted by the Southern Downs Regional Council in June. The project will make UQ one of the first universities in the world to offset 100 per cent of its electricity needs from its own renewable energy asset. The project will include the planting of more than 30,000 native trees and shrubs along the six kilometres of the site’s boundaries, and the solar farm will generate enough hours of renewable energy per year to be the equivalent of taking 48,600 cars off the road.

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