May 31, 2021
Construction of a 210MW solar farm at Woolooga is expected to begin within months, with preliminary works already begun.
The solar farm – which gained development approval from Gympie Regional Council in 2019 – is being built by Lightsource BP, a company jointly owned by global energy company BP and Europe’s largest solar developer, Lightsource.
The project is expected to create 300 jobs during construction and 10 full-time, permanent jobs once it begins operations.
Lightsource recently finalised buying five properties required for the solar farm.
The properties sit along the Wide Bay Highway in the Woolooga and Lower Wonga area, and are believed to have changed hands for a total of more than $9.6 million.
Preliminary roadworks for the project are now under way, and construction is expected to begin in the second half of this year.
The Woolooga project merges two smaller solar farm projects originally planned by Lightsource BP for the area – a 160MW solar farm and a smaller one.
Lightsource BP has also begun construction of a 200MW solar farm at Wellington in NSW, and has plans to build two others at Wellington North (400MW) and West Wyalong (107MW).
Gympie Deputy Mayor Hilary Smerdon, whose 110ha cattle property was one of the five bought for the Woolooga project, said he thought the solar farm would be good for the area.
He said he had been reluctant to sell his property, but Lightsource BP had offered him a good price and he felt the project would be “a shot in the arm” for the region.
He has since bought another, slightly smaller, cattle property in the area.