Shell Australia has announced an industrial-scale solar project near Wandoan, expected to create up to 200 new jobs during construction.
The Gangarri solar farm will generate 120 megawatts of solar electricity from about 400,000 photovolatic (PV) panels and is expected to be completed in early 2021.
The project follows Shell’s recent acquisition of leading industrial electricity retailer ERM Power and investment in solar developer ESCO Pacific.
Shell Energy Australia will be the foundation customer for the project, with an equivalent amount of electricity purchased from the national grid and sold to Shell’s QGC business, reducing their carbon footprint.
“We believe solar will play an increasing role in the global energy system, especially when partnered with a reliable energy source such as gas,” Shell Australia chairman Tony Nunan said.
“We are proud to be investing in the ‘Sunshine State’ and Queensland is a key centre of activity for Shell’s global ambition to expand our integrated power business.
“Shell’s Gangarri solar farm will help power the operations of our QGC project and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by around 300,000 tonnes a year.”
Energy Minister Dr Lynham said the Darling Downs and South West Queensland was literally an energy powerhouse, with the regions having developed the unprecedented largescale $70 billion onshore gas industry and now hosting some of largest clean energy generators in the country.
“I welcome Shell’s first global investment in an industrial-scale solar farm on Queensland soil and I am also pleased they have recognised the Iman people the traditional owners of the land of where the farm will be constructed and named the project Gangarri,” he said.
“Gangarri is a fitting name for the project, Gan meaning sun and Garri meaning light in the Iman peoples dialect.”
Dr Lynham said about $5 billion had been invested in renewable energy projects in Queensland since December 2016, creating 4700 jobs.