AERIAL VIEW: There's plenty of room for Adani Australia to expand their new Rugby Run solar farm near Moranbah.
AERIAL VIEW: There's plenty of room for Adani Australia to expand their new Rugby Run solar farm near Moranbah.

Adani’s new environmentally friendly CQ project opens

WHEN they get a clear, unobstructed run at a project, Adani are able to deliver their projects - as their newly completed solar farm can attest.

Adani Chief Executive Lucas Dow was joined by Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker to celebrate another big win by officially opening their 65MW Rugby Run solar farm today.

Located south west of Moranbah, Rugby Run solar farm's 247,000 solar panels makes it the eighth largest solar farm in Queensland.

Adani's first Australian renewables project generates enough electricity to power more than 23,000 regional Queensland homes and businesses.

"We're very excited and proud to have delivered it," Mr Dow said.

"It's clear and tangible illustrative example of when we get the opportunity to deliver, and we get a clear run at these things, we get on and do what we say we're going to do.

SITE INSPECTION: Adani CEO Lucas Dow and Adani Renewables Manager Ian Sedgman visiting the Rugby Run Solar Farm visit during the mechanical completion event in November last year.
SITE INSPECTION: Adani CEO Lucas Dow and Adani Renewables Manager Ian Sedgman visiting the Rugby Run Solar Farm visit during the mechanical completion event in November last year.

"People are often surprised when we say we're in the renewables business, but the reality is that we recognise the world needs a reliable and affordable energy mix of both coal and renewables in order to meet current and future global energy demand."

The project took just over a year to build with work commencing in November 2017.

The mechanical competition was November 2018, the first export of energy took place in January 2019, and maximum output was reached in September.

At the peak of construction activity, 175 people were employed by the project with five workers operating the completed solar farm.

Of those involved in construction, Mr Dow said majority the bulk was made up of local Queensland contractors from Clermont, Chinchilla, Bowen and Townsville to ensure the benefits were focused in regional Queensland.

AERIAL VIEW: There's plenty of room for Adani Australia to expand their new Rugby Run solar farm near Moranbah.
AERIAL VIEW: There's plenty of room for Adani Australia to expand their new Rugby Run solar farm near Moranbah.

"We made sure we engaged Queensland suppliers wherever possible for Rugby Run, with 89% of our contract services for the project going to Queensland businesses - 78% of supplier contracts went to regional Queensland businesses alone." he said.

While there was no storage capacity at the site, Mr Dow said there was plenty of room for expansion when the time was right.

He said Adani's future renewables investment boiled down to three key factors.

"It's making sure you've got the demand sorted out, that the infrastructure in the grid is adequate, and ultimately that the regulatory regimen is appropriate for the investment," he said.

COMPANY EXPANSION: Adani has a growing footprint with projects scattered throughout Australia.
COMPANY EXPANSION: Adani has a growing footprint with projects scattered throughout Australia.

"We're very opportunistic and entrepreneurial. We certainly look and keep a close eye where commercial opportunities might present themselves."

Mr Dow said he believed it necessary for a responsible transition from coal to renewables where it wasn't about about "coal or renewables, it's coal and renewables".

He said Australia was seeing a pattern playing out across Asia "in terms of requiring both baseload coal-fired power generation for the safe, reliable, affordable power and the transition and supplement of renewables also coming online as well". It's a mixture of energy mix, it's not a singular coal or renewables. It's very much an 'and' - coal and renewables.

"Climate change is a global challenge, and we're putting our money where our mouth is. We're not interested in virtue signalling. We're getting on with it and making a clear and demonstrable investment in renewables, both here and abroad."

 

MAP: Adani's Rugby Run solar farm is located to the south west of Moranbah and east of their Carmichael coal mine project.
MAP: Adani's Rugby Run solar farm is located to the south west of Moranbah and east of their Carmichael coal mine project.