• Smart Energy Council of Australia has announced a 1.5 GW solar PV project having entered construction in Queensland
  • It will have 500 MWh of energy storage capacity as well and is being built by Sunshine Energy Australia
  • On its website, the developer says the project may be scaled up to 2 GW of capacity depending on the land suitability and size

With no official announcement made by the developer of a 1.5 GW PV farm with 500 MWh of energy storage component, Australia’s Smart Energy Council has shared the project entered construction on February 20, 2019. The developer, Sunshine Energy Australia, secured approval for the project development from the Queensland state government in November 2018.

According to Sunshine Energy Australia’s website, the project will be located on some 5,000 acres of land between Harlin and Kilcoy in Queensland. Current project capacity of 1.5 GW has the potential to be expanded to a total of 2 GW within 36 months, depending on the suitability and size of land around the area. It will be connected to the national distribution network in Queensland.

It will be constructed in 3 stages of 500 MW each, reads Sunshine Energy website, and on completion the entire project capacity has the potential to generate around 2,259 GWh of clean energy annually for the next 25 years, enough for 300,000 households in the region.

The developer expects construction on the 1.5 MW capacity to take 16 to 24 months to complete, leading to creation of more than 1,000 temporary jobs and with 30 to 60 permanent jobs to run and maintain the solar farm and the Koala Solar Center.

The lithium-ion battery storage system will be fully automated comprising 4 MW storage capacity in every SEA Power (SEAP) battery and other components.

A January 7, 2019 news report on the website Jobsite.Procore refers to the plant as a AUD 2 billion ($1.43 billion) project to be built with 5,191,200 solar panels on the site.

The sheer capacity of the project makes it the largest solar power project to enter construction in Australia to date. Hitherto, the largest solar power project under construction in the country was the 349 MW Limondale Solar Power Plant in New South Wales. Innogy had announced in September 2018 about its plans to start construction on the project in October 2018 (see Innogy Acquires 349 MW PV Project In Australia).

Earlier in February 2019, Elliot Green Power put into operation the 95 MW Susan River Solar Farm in Queensland as one of the state’s biggest solar farms. Back then, the state Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham had shared that 13 large-scale renewable energy projects are currently under construction in the state representing more than 1.2 GW capacity (see 95 MW Solar Plant Online In Queensland, Australia).