August 16, 2023
The Kingaroy Solar Farm passed an important milestone on Wednesday, with the mounting of the last solar panel on site.
However, construction work at the 53MW project will not be completed until October.
The commissioning process will then be undertaken, which means the first power won’t be generated until next year.
The solar farm has been built on about 118ha of land – owned by two local residents – adjacent to Kingaroy-Barkers Creek Road.
southburnett.com.au was invited by developers Mytilineos to witness the historic placement of the final solar panel on Wednesday, the 90,576th to be erected.
Teams of workers have been placing more than 3000 panels a day into position.
At the same time, electrical cables are being laid into trenches underground and a vegetation buffer consisting of 25,000 trees is being planted around the edges of the site.
Mytilineos representative Lluvia Murillo said the selection of the trees had been undertaken in co-operation with the South Burnett Regional Council to ensure suitable plants were chosen.
The aim is for the trees to reach a height to shield the fence around the project.
Sheep – which Mytilineos believes are a perfect partner for solar farms – will be placed on the land after the plant is commissioned to help keep the grass down.
Ms Murillo said Mytilineos had donated more than $100,000 in cash and goods to the local community so far during the construction process.
This included sponsorship of the South Burnett Thrashers and the 2022 BaconFest event as well as donations of timber to the Kingaroy and Cherbourg Men’s Sheds, South Burnett Woodcrafters, local schools, the Kingaroy RSPCA, Kingaroy and Nurunderi TAFEs, South Burnett Care and individual community members.
In total, 17,590kg of timber – including pallets and cable drums – have been given to various individuals and organisations.
The Kingaroy Solar Farm is nearing completion, but the company already has another project in development in Queensland.
General manager (Oceania Region) Ian Kirkham said Mytilineos would be developing a solar farm soon at Munna Creek, north of Woolooga.
This project will be about double the size of the Kingaroy solar farm.
* * *
The Kingaroy Solar Farm has not been without its critics.
The original proponent, Terrain Solar, took the South Burnett Regional Council to court after Council knocked back its Development Application.
Seven co-respondents – later reduced to three – joined Council in opposing Terrain Solar’s appeal.
Five were local residents, either living beside or overlooking the proposed development, while two others had interests in land nearby.
The final judgment in the appeal case was handed down by Judge Michael Williamson, QC, in June 2019.
After discussions between the parties, Terrain Solar proposed to make slight changes to its Development Application.
These changes were accepted by Council and the three remaining co-respondents.
They included revised vegetation screening, changes to the location of some fencing and a maintenance track, as well as revised landscape buffer zones.
In June this year, Mytilineos – which took over the project from Terrain Solar – announced it had signed a long-term power purchase agreement with SmartestEnergy Australia, which will on-sell the energy from the Kingaroy project to commercial and industrial customers.
- Donation Boosts Men’s Shed
- Councillor Ejected From Solar Farm
- Residents Launch Solar Farm Petition
- Solar Farm To Start In August
- Meeting To Discuss Solar Farm
- Solar Farm Gets Green Light
- No Decision Yet On Solar Farm
- Mystery Clouds Solar Farm Vote
- Solar Farm Back Before Council
- Solar Farm Proposal Rejected
- Solar Farm Guidelines Unveiled
- Grazing Plan For Solar Farm
- Will Kingaroy Solar Farm Be Next?
- New Guidelines For Solar Farms
- Solar Farm Plan Submitted To Council