Equis Energy gets green light for 1GW solar farm

Equis Energy has been granted approval to begin construction on a 1GW solar farm in Queensland.

The Western Downs Regional Council gave the $2 billion Wandoan South Solar Project (WSSP) the green light last week.

Once complete, it will be one of the largest solar projects in the world, covering 1424 hectares of land south-west of Wandoan.

Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Paul McVeigh said council was committed to renewable energy in the region.

“We are serious about cementing the Western Downs as the energy capital of Australia and securing the enormous economic and community benefits that will bring to our region,” he said.

“Equis has expressed their desire to be proactive in their consultation with neighbours of this project site, and that aligns with the business model we are promoting for renewable energy projects.

“The timeframe in which council has processed this application highlights the message we are open for business, and I think it is important to reiterate that although our approval process is rigorous, it is efficient.”

Equis Energy is Asia’s largest independent renewable energy developer and investor and has already made its mark in Australia.

In February, the Singapore-based company announced plans to build two solar power plants in Australia.

The $400 million projects, located in South Australia and Queensland, will have a total generation capacity of 200MW.

Equis signed a Power Purchase Agreement with Snowy Hydro Limited for a 100MW solar project located near Tailem Bend in South Australia, which will be constructed alongside a Snowy Hydro-owned 28.8MW diesel-fired power station.

“The project will not only provide significant amounts of low-cost clean energy, but will also generate new jobs and training opportunities, with millions of dollar invested throughout local communities,” Equis Energy chairman David Russell told pv magazine.

 “The WSSP will have the ability to add battery storage when commercially feasible. This will allow energy to be stored and facilitate the generation of power into the evening.”