Haughton solar farm
Located in north 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.
The solar farm is being built in stages. Construction of the first 100MW of the project commenced in 2018 following a tender process and is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2019.
Once all stages are complete, Haughton Solar Farm is expected to have a generating capacity of up to 500MW, enough to power approximately 291,000 homes.
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.
Pacific Hydro is proud to support communities that host our clean energy projects through our industry-leading Community Investment Program, which delivers a portion of revenue back into local communities each year.
Pacific Hydro uses a range of methods, like local grants and sponsorships to support communities that host our clean energy projects.
Following early consultation with key stakeholders in the Burdekin Shire, Pacific Hydro has provided initial support to:
- Gudjuda Reference Group Aboriginal Corporation – a grant to assist with the purchase of a new vessel for Gudjuda’s sea turtle research and ecotourism program.
- Sweet Days Hot Nights Festival – sponsorship of a multi-day regional festival celebrating the paddock to plate food, music, culture and country hospitality on offer in the Burdekin Shire.
Since its launch, Pacific Hydro’s Community Investment Program has delivered over $3.0 Million to more than 700 community-led projects across regional Australia.
Pacific Hydro will launch the Haughton Sustainable Communities Fund, a community grant program to share a portion of revenue from the solar farm with local groups and not-for-profits, in September 2019.
For any enquiries, complaints or feedback about this project, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1800 730 734.