The Notice To Proceed (NTP) is a significant milestone for the Rodds Bay Solar Farm project and developer Renew Estate, the company having gained planning approval way back in August 2018. Things are finally starting to move on this project, which originally hoped to be completed by 2020. Planning approval was also granted for the development of an 82 MW / 164 MWh battery on site.
The 300 MW (DC) project, located near the township of Bororen approximately 50km south of Gladstone, promises to be one of Australia’s largest solar installations. At the expected size, the Rodds Bay Solar Farm could produce up to 625 GWh of solar power annually, enough to power approximately 88,000 homes.
Tom Harrison, Director of Renew Estate, said: “We have enjoyed a close working relationship with Powerlink over the past 2½ years and are very happy to be moving into the next stage of this project.”
Renew Estate, which is partly owned by German developer Wirsol Energy, has not produced anything of the proposed size of Rodds Bay, however it did develop the 120 MW Bomen Solar Farm near Wagga Wagga, NSW, selling the project to Spark Infrastructure for construction. The company is confident the 300 MW project will now get underway in an accelerated fashion.
“We continue to passionately believe that this project will deliver significant and impactful benefits not just to Gladstone, but also the wider regional economy in Queensland across 2020 and 2021,” said Simon Currie, Director of Renew Estate. “Our vision for this solar farm has always been to create positive and enduring social and economic legacies, including the creation of hundreds of jobs during construction. It will be one of the first renewable projects located close to Gladstone and will play a pivotal role in enabling Gladstone to become the future energy capital of Australia.”
Construction is set to commence by Q3/Q4 2020.