Haughton solar farm

The Project

Located in central Queensland’s Burdekin Shire (40km west of Ayr and 60km south of Townsville), Haughton Solar Farm is a large-scale solar photovoltaic power station currently under construction.

The site has been identified as an area highly suitable for efficiently capturing solar energy – the region has one of the highest levels of solar irradiance in Australia, receiving 2,095 KWh/m² per annum.

The development of Haughton Solar Farm will seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by proposing a renewable energy source for the local and surrounding community, whilst assisting in reaching greenhouse gas reduction targets in Queensland and making a considerable contribution to the Renewable Energy Target.

Some of the key characteristics of the Haughton site include:

  • flat terrain previously cleared through laser levelling with minimal trees and vegetation;
  • currently vacant rural land, with some areas used for cattle agistment;
  • strong potential to connect to the National Electricity Market (NEM).

The north-eastern corner of the development site directly adjoins the existing 275kV Powerlink transmission line, providing the opportunity to connect to the NEM.

Pacific Hydro submitted a planning application in March 2017 for Stage 1 of the project, which will cover approximately 1,200ha. Burdekin Shire Council issued a Material Change of Use (MCU) Permit for the site in June 2017.

After a tender process, construction of the Haughton Solar Farm commenced in 2018 and will see the installation of approximately 1,000,000 photovoltaic solar panels.

Haughton Solar Farm is expected to have a generating capacity of up to 500MW, enough to power approximately 170,000 homes.

 

Local Benefits

Pacific Hydro has a strong track record of delivering lasting benefits to the local communities in which our projects are located. The project will deliver a boost to the local economy with approximately 240 workers required onsite during construction, with up to 10 permanent jobs to be created to ensure the effective operation of the solar farm. Local suppliers and contractors will also be engaged for the construction and delivery of the project wherever possible.

These jobs will help to diversify local skills and economic output for the region, complementing the agricultural industry and contributing to the prosperity of the local economy.

Pacific Hydro will also commit to improving local infrastructure assets such as roads and waterway crossings. These upgrades are likely to be required in order to manage construction of the project, but will provide a legacy to the local community once the project has been completed.

Feedback from neighbouring landowners is being proactively sought and a comprehensive community engagement plan will be implemented at the appropriate time.

 

Community Consultation – Queensland Solar Farm Guidelines

Queensland’s solar industry in in a time of rapid growth. To ensure that projects are developed in a way that balances the interests of all stakeholders and are supported by the community, the Queensland Government is currently seeking feedback on the draft Queensland Solar Farm Guidelines from landholders, community groups, project developers, and local councils.

The Queensland Solar Farm Guidelines will inform local councils, project proponents, and members of the community about consistent and sustainable planning practices, and proactive community engagement.

The guidelines are intended to support local councils in planning for and assessing solar projects under the Queensland Planning Framework, and educate local communities and project developers about good standards of development practice.

To find out more about the draft guidelines and the consultation process, please visit the Queensland Government’s Solar Farm Guidelines website.

 

Resources

Haughton Solar Farm – Project Overview and Location

 

Project Information

RCR Tomlinson is our selected contractor to deliver the first stage of the project. Construction updates will be provided periodically by them to the community and stakeholders.

RCR Tomlinson – Statement on Community Engagement

RCR Tomlinson – Project Information

More Information

For any complaints, enquiries, or feedback about this project, please contact us at enquiries@pacifichydro.com.au or 1800 730 734.