Local council accommodates Iberdrola request for 360 MW Queensland solar farm


Iberdrola Australia Development has progressed plans to build the 360 MW Broadsound Solar Farm in central Queensland with the Isaac Regional Council approving the company’s request to develop temporary housing at the site for workers.

Isaac Regional Council approved Iberdrola’s request to develop the temporary accommodation on condition of compliance with general, environmental, and hazard-reduction conditions. These include a requirement to submit a rehabilitation and decommissioning plan one year prior to the closure of the site and that the accommodation will be removed completely within three years following its commencement of use.

The Broadsound Solar Farm, first announced in 2022, is currently in the planning with construction expected to begin in 2025.

Being developed on a 3,600-hectare former cattle station near Clarke Creek, about 160 kilometres northwest of Rockhampton, the project will comprise approximately 645,000 solar modules and once operational will be capable of producing 392 MW of power for about 140,000 homes.

The facility will connect to the National Electricity Network (NEM) via Powerlink’s existing 275 kV Broadsound substation.

The Broadsound project is part of Iberdrola’s increasing focus on the Australian market with the Spanish company having committed to investing more than $4 billion (USD 2.64 billion) to grow its renewable energy capacity to 4 GW in Australia.

The company, which entered the Australian market in 2020 with the acquisition of Infigen Energy, has approximately 2 GW of renewable projects in its Australian operational and in-development portfolio and expects to add 2 GW more in the coming years.

Iberdrola has also established a networks business to be involved in Australia’s transmission infrastructure and meet demand for expanding solar resources and transport power to coastal population centres.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland last week, Iberdrola Executive Chairman Ignacio Galan said the growth of green energy is expected to accelerate in Australia over the next 10 years.

He advocated for increased investment in, and faster development of, electricity distribution networks and storage including batteries and pumped hydro.

Galan said the technology, finance resources and ambition already exist to accelerate developments, but he stressed the importance of involving local communities in promoting renewable installations.

“I have 25 years of experience,” he said. “I grew up in a village; I know countryside people, and big companies must get involved with local communities, and agreements must be reached with local communities before starting anything and communities must see an opportunity not in electricity production but in creating a new economy around it.”

The Broadsound project is being built across the road from Squadron Energy’s Clarke Creek wind and solar farm that is to include up to 400 MW of PV and an 800 MW wind farm that is currently under construction.

This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: editors@pv-magazine.com.