Solar project powers on

solar-cells-594166_1280August 11, 2015

By Emma Brown

RATCH Australia will proceed with a $100 million solar farm in Collinsville, Queensland after an agreement was reached on the revised Renewable Energy Target (RET).

Ratch general manager of business management Anil Nangia said the 18 month RET impasse was the reason the project was put on hold, according to an ABC report.

Ratch received approval from the Whitsunday Regional Council to develop the project at the site of the Collinsville Power Station in October 2013, and originally planned to have the plant constructed and operational by mid 2015.

The 20MW to 30MW solar facility was expected to produce between 40 and50 gigawatt hours of electricity a year; enough to power 6000 to 7500 homes in Queensland.

The project would create 80 jobs during the construction phase.

Clean Energy Council chief executive Kane Thornton said it was encouraging to see companies and investors move ahead with major infrastructure projects.

“Australia has some of the best sun, wind and waves in the world and investors realise we can make a lot better use of these natural resources to power our future,” Mr Thornton said.

“We expect that approximately $10 billion of investment and thousands of jobs will be created across 30-50 large-scale renewable energy projects over the next five years, as well as hundreds of medium-sized projects.”

The Collinsville solar farm will be Ratch’s first solar project, having only previously been involved with wind farm development.