SOLAR PLAN: Somerset already hosts energy projects including hydroelectric plants at Wivenhoe Dam and Splityard Creek Dam (pictured).
SOLAR PLAN: Somerset already hosts energy projects including hydroelectric plants at Wivenhoe Dam and Splityard Creek Dam (pictured). contributed

1,500 MW Harlin solar farm in the works

A PROPOSAL for a large solar power plant east of Harlin is in the works, Somerset Regional Council has confirmed.

The development application for the proposed plant, spread over a 2,055 hectare site east of Harlin along the D'Aguilar Highway would have final capacity of 1,500 megawatts, making it larger than the Sunraysia solar farm in NSW, currently Australia's largest under construction, at 250 MW. Other Australian solar farms of up to 1,000 MW have been proposed.

Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann said it was a complex development application put together by Ethos Urban planning consultants, who have been involved in other large infrastructure projects throughout Australia, on behalf of Sunshine Energy Australia Pty Ltd.

"We understand the attractions of the site include its proximity to the existing high voltage power network and proximity to Brisbane," Mayor Lehmann said.

"The site has been largely cleared in the past and is within one hour of the 570 MW pumped storage hydroelectric plant at Splityard Creek which is also in the Somerset Regional Council area."

"The development application includes two substations, facilities for up to 60 employees and provision for battery storage."

Mayor Lehmann said the application has been referred to various government departments and agencies for their input and we will carefully assess it against our planning scheme like any other proposal.