The site was chosen because it is flat and sunny and is located near Powerlink’s existing Western Downs substation which it will connect via a new 275kV line ensuring the energy can rapidly be exported into the grid.
The 1500 hectare site, which is on Barunggam country ranges over two freehold rural properties will have a relatively low visual impact on the surrounding community.
Lying in close proximity to the QLD/NSW interconnector it will provide energy into the national electricity network as well as generating clean, affordable energy for Queenslanders.
The Barunggam people maintain a strong connection to their country with many families still living and working on country.
In 2017, Neoen conducted a preliminary Cultural Heritage Assessment which identified the Barunggam people as the registered Aboriginal party and since then the successful Neoen and Barunggam negotiation has led to the executing of a Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) registered with the Queensland Government’s Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships (DATSIP) in 2019.
Neoen has committed to an ambitious 10% Indigenous participation target for employment and supply chain procurement for the project.
Partnering with cleanco
Western Downs has a 352 MWp power purchase agreement with CleanCo to provide clean energy for Queensland. The project will contribute over 30% of the energy required for CleanCo to meet its target of 1 GW of new renewable energy generation by 2025.
CleanCo was created with Queensland’s most flexible and responsive generation assets to help improve electricity affordability and support the transition to clean energy in a way that drives regional growth and jobs.
It aims to achieve its 2025 target by building, owning and operating renewable energy projects and supporting investment in other new renewable energy projects, which can be firmed by its low-emission, dispatchable generation assets. CleanCo will use this capability to supply reliable clean energy products tailored to large commercial and industrial customers at competitive prices.
We are proud to partner with Sterling and Wilson Solar who are the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for Western Downs. With a presence across 25 countries, Sterling and Wilson Solar is one of the world’s largest solar EPC and O&M solutions provider..
“We are delighted to be associated with Neoen on this solar farm, which happens to be our largest project in Australia. This landmark project is an important milestone in our growth journey.
The Western Downs Green Power Hub is our second project with Neoen, and we are glad to partner with them once again and contribute to the growing solar revolution across the globe.”
Bikesh Ogra, Director and Global CEO, Sterling and Wilson Solar Limited