WITH seventeen large-scale solar farms under construction and another 40-plus potential projects, the Queensland Government is calling for feedback on new planning and community engagement guidelines to guide the development of solar projects in the state.
Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Minister Anthony Lynham said Queensland was becoming the 'solar energy state', adding that five new solar projects have started operating in the past 16 months at Barcaldine, Kidston, Lakeland, Normanton and Sunshine Coast.
"Large scale solar brings jobs and economic benefits for communities, but they can also bring their own set of planning challenges. The right planning guidelines need to be in place to ensure communities, developers, councils and investors are all on the same page about what is best for Queensland," Dr Lynham said.
The new guidelines will inform and guide stakeholders, including local government, through the project development process, and ensure that projects meet their social licence to operate. Government officers have been working with local government, the Queensland Farmers Federation and other stakeholders to develop the new guidelines.
The consultation period begins on 14 March 2018, and the guidelines are due to be finalised in the second half of 2018. More information is available from the Queensland Government website at <https://www.getinvolved.qld.gov.au/>.
Photo: A solar farm in Windorah, Queensland / 'Windorah's Solar Farm dishes taken from the roadside (Diamantina Developmental Road) on a hot summer day' / Aaronazz / Licensed under Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0.