A third solar farm has been proposed to be built at Lower Wonga.
A third solar farm has been proposed to be built at Lower Wonga. FILE

Council considers project that would create 150 jobs

LOWER Wonga is fast becoming the region's power hub with a third solar farm proposed for the rural region.

Lightsource Developments Australia has applied to Gympie Regional Council to build a "small-scale” 60 megawatt farm at the corner of Tones and Gympie Woolooga Rds.

Its report says it will create 150 jobs throughout construction, which is estimated to take 12 months.

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It will then operate with a permanent staff of five, with up to five more contracting jobs available.

Lightsource says its plan is to have the project up and running by 2022.

Proposed site of the newest solar farm intended to be built at Lower Wonga.
Proposed site. Scott Kovacevic

The farm is to be built on 160ha, and include 180,000 solar panels, inverter stations, underground cabling and a project site office and maintenance workshop.

A new substation will also be built.

The solar farm's total lifespan is set at 40 years "providing short, medium and long term local employment”.

Once that 40 years is up, the proponent is "obliged to decommission the plant and rehabilitate the site at the end of its operational life”.

Photovoltaic panels of solar power station in the landscape at sunset. Picture: FILE
Solar power in action.

"This would involve the removal of all above ground infrastructure and returning the site to its existing land capacity,” the application says.

"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.”

The proposal is the third in as many years for the Lower Wonga region, following SolarQs 2017 pitch for a $2 billion project on the southern side of the Wide Bay Highway and LGI Limited's proposal on the northern side last year.

Lightsource's proposed development is to be built about 2km south of these.