POWER UP: A second solar farm could be built at Lower Wonga.
POWER UP: A second solar farm could be built at Lower Wonga. snvv

REVEALED: 120 jobs, 490k panels in 415ha Lower Wonga project

INTEREST in Lower Wonga continues to flare up with a pitch made for a second solar farm to be built in the area.

Called the Woolooga Energy Park, the proposal involves building a 185 Megawatt energy hub on 415ha of land.

Construction of the park is expected to take one year with an estimated 120 jobs (and the potential for 80 more) to be created during this stage.

The park would front a 2km stretch of the Wide Bay Highway.

 

SOLAR SURGE: A second solar farm has been proposed at Lower Wonga.
SOLAR SURGE: A second solar farm has been proposed at Lower Wonga. Renee King

It would be connected to the substation across the road by cable which developers LGI Limited said was a key part of the chosen location.

Battery storage is also possible on the site.

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LGI said the solar panels would be set back from the road, with landscaping to provide a visual buffer.

No vegetation is proposed to be cleared.

The solar panels will face north-south and away from the highway, with LGI saying they do "not believe there would be glare or sun strike issues to drivers".

 

Maps of the proposed 185MW solar farm on the north side of the Wide Bay Highway.
Maps of the proposed 185MW solar farm on the north side of the Wide Bay Highway. Gympie Regional Council

While the panels will be visible, LGI said they were designed to absorb light, not reflect it.

"Whilst the array will be visible it is not expected to generate significant glare concerns," they said.

More than 490,000 solar panels are expected to placed at the park.

They would cover about 75 per cent of the site, with the rest of the land for grazing.

"The proposal will allow the underlying agricultural purpose of the land to be continued on an 'as needed' basis for the life of the project."

 

Maps of the proposed 185MW solar farm on the north side of the Wide Bay Highway.
Maps of the proposed 185MW solar farm on the north side of the Wide Bay Highway. Gympie Regional Council

LGI said the intersection of the access road with the highway would need to be upgraded.

"Temporary construction impacts, such as vehicle movements and noise, are able to be appropriately managed through standard conditions."

The park is proposed to sit directly opposite 1000MW Gympie Energy Hub solar farm being built by SolarQ.

The developers hope work on the Hub can start later this year.

The application is open for public feedback on Gympie Regional Council's website until August 27.

Gympie Times


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