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Isis River solar farm proposed

Isis Substation
The Isis Substation on Buxton Road, where a proposed new solar farm will feed energy to the grid.

A proposed 100-megawatt solar farm at Isis River has potential to create up to 250 jobs during construction and power more than 20,000 homes.

It's the latest in a long list of similar applications to come before Bundaberg Regional Council for assessment.

The Bundaberg Region is already recognised as Australia’s rooftop solar capital.

If approved, the solar farm will be built at 51 Buxton Road and 249 Lambs Road in Isis River about 50km from Bundaberg.

The site is near an existing substation.

“The proposed location of the solar farm is a strategic location for the provision of a renewable energy facility,’’ the application states.

“This location maximises the ability to provide renewable energy into the grid and to provide a development at a scale that can deliver electricity to service the equivalent of 24,000 households.

“The solar farm is able to be placed immediately adjacent to the Isis substation.

“This reduces transmission losses between the solar farm and the substation given the short length (approximately 800m) of overhead transmission line required to be constructed to connect the project to the substation.”

The proposed development will provide a new on-site substation and will connect to a new 132kV transmission line that will connect with the existing Ergon Energy substation, located on the southern side of Buxton Road.

This will enable energy produced by the proposed development to feed back into the grid. It's envisaged that at a later stage, the solar farm might potentially include on-site battery storage.

Bundaberg Regional Council Development Group Manager, Michael Ellery, said the application would be assessed against Council’s Planning Scheme for compliance and, if approved, had the potential to deliver a number of positive outcomes.

“The proponent has advised that the development will be constructed over a 12-month period, including three months for testing purposes,” Mr Ellery said.

“Therefore, the bulk of the material deliveries for construction would be completed within the first nine months of the construction period.”

“There is expected to be a maximum workforce of 250 required on site for the construction phase and typically not more than 10 staff during the operational phase.

“This is one of the bigger solar farms that has come to Council for approval in the region, and it will easily service over 20,000 households.”

The proposed development is near the 75MW Childers Solar Farm. ESCO Pacific obtained development consent for the Childers project in December 2016.  

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