Work on building the South Burnett’s first solar farm will begin within months, and the project is expected to become operational between March and June next year (Photo: af.mil)

June 8, 2022

Work on building the South Burnett’s first solar farm is expected to begin in August, and the project should become operational between March and June 2023 if work goes to plan.

The project’s schedule was unveiled at a community information meeting held at Kingaroy RSL last Wednesday night.

Solar farm owners Mytilineos Holdings – a multi-national energy company – arranged the meeting, which was attended by about 25 people.

The company said it would oversee the construction and operation of the site, located roughly 3km east of Kingaroy’s CBD at 397 Kingaroy-Barkers Creek Road.

However, Mytilineos plans to appoint a principal contractor from local industry to lead the solar farm’s construction phase, and they expect that firm will – in turn – hire local workers to build it.

Kingaroy Solar Farm project manager Corey Kinnear told southburnett.com.au the project would offer many work opportunities for unskilled labourers, and the company’s preference was to source as many of these from the South Burnett as possible.

The company also said it recently engaged Wakka Wakka representatives to conduct a cultural survey over the solar farm site as part of its preliminary work.

That survey had found the area did not contain any cultural relics.

When complete, the solar farm is expected to generate 40MW, which will be fed into the grid via Ergon Energy’s nearby substation.

The farm’s output will be purchased by a large retail chain as part of its plan to become carbon neutral.

Corey said the solar farm will use tracking panels that will follow the sun as it crosses the sky.

Apart from ensuring efficient power generation, the moving panels would help minimise the chance of reflective glare affecting surrounding properties.

To avoid inconveniencing local residents, the company will also be moving materials on to the site through the northern end of the property.

This will avoid delivery trucks causing traffic delays on Kingaroy-Barkers Creek Road during construction.

A small number of properties that adjoin the farm will also be offered environmental screening to help minimise any visual pollution they might suffer.

The company expects the solar farm will have an operational life of between 25 to 30 years.

After that, it will either be decommissioned and the site returned to its pre-farm state, or re-energised with replacement equipment.

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