The Southern Downs is set to become a destination for renewable energy after the Southern Downs Regional Council has approved the development of a new solar farm near Warwick.

The Terrain Solar project is expected to generate a range of significant benefits for the Southern Downs, including jobs, educational opportunities and investment in the region. The proposed 150 hectare solar farm will be constructed at Sladevale near Gleesons, Jensens, Robinson and Freestone Roads, and will generate about 160,000 megawatt hours of clean energy (MWh) each year, enough to power 27,000 average homes. Construction is planned to start by the end of the year, directly creating more than 100 jobs during construction and several ongoing employment opportunities. The solar facility will be of great benefit to the region, providing research, teaching and engagement opportunities on the Southern Downs.

Southern Downs Regional Council Mayor Tracy Dobie said the facility will be an asset to the Southern Downs and a boost to jobs and the economy. “This is a wonderful opportunity for the Southern Downs region to diversify the businesses that have a presence here and put the region on the map as a destination for renewable energy,” Cr Dobie said.

Queensland is one of the sunniest places in the world making the addition of the solar farm a worthwhile addition. The site is seen as a quality location for solar farms given the high solar resource, proximity to existing electrical structures, visual shielding provided bu surrounding site vegetation and minimal environmental impacts likely during construction due to the historic nature of the site.

Solar energy is a rising industry with 14.6 per cent of Australia’s electricity generation being sourced from renewable energy in 2015. The project will take an approximately one year to construct as 40,000 solar panels are mounted on the site with the project being designed to produce electricity for 30 years.

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