Project developer Ormed Investments, led by South Africa-born couple Suman and Harsha Makan, plans to build the Goldmine Solar Farm on a site near Gilberton in the city’s north. The proposal is to install 86,935 solar modules with a total capacity of 33.47 MW on the 37.4 hectare site. The current plan includes 13 inverter stations while a battery storage facility will also be constructed at the site.
The development application was originally lodged in 2017 and has undergone numerous conceptual redesigns since then but the current proposal received unanimous support at the full Gold Coast City Council meeting on October 27.
Division councillor Mark Hammel described the project as “exciting” and a positive for the nation’s sixth largest city.
“It was extremely encouraging to see councillors unanimously support the Gilberton solar farm development application at full council today,” he said after the meeting.
“This marks a very exciting and important time for our city in terms of how we integrate renewables into shaping the Gold Coast’s future when it comes to cutting down on our city’s emissions, and boosting the local economy while creating the jobs of the future.”
The facility looms as the first of its kind to be constructed within the Gold Coast Local Government Area and complements the Queensland Government’s recent push to fund renewable energy zones as part of the state’s economic recovery plan. Renewable energy sector consultant Verdia has indicated the proposed development will result in an annual CO2 saving of 47,515 tonnes – the equivalent of the power consumed by 10,340 homes.
A report prepared for the City of Gold Coast Planning and Environment Committee indicates that the array will utilise single axis trackers. The majority of the supporting pylons will be approximately 1.95m high to compensate for the average flood depth of the site.
It is expected a transmission line will connect from the site to the nearby Energex Stapylton Zone substation. No approvals for the connection to the grid had been obtained prior to the full council meeting but Verdia said the early advice from Energex was there would be no objection to the proposal.
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