POWERING UP: Scott Armstrong is seeking public feedback on his $2 billion Lower Wonga solar farm proposal.
POWERING UP: Scott Armstrong is seeking public feedback on his $2 billion Lower Wonga solar farm proposal. Renee Albrecht

SolarQ aims to break ground in early '18

Solar farm proposal takes step forward: Lower Wonga development now open to public feedback.
Solar farm proposal takes step forward: Lower Wonga development now open to public feedback.

SOLARQ hopes to break ground on its proposed $2 billion Lower Wonga solar farm early next year, with the development now open to public feedback.

Managing director Scott Armstrong said it was a slight delay from previous hopes, but not anything unreasonable in a project of this size.

"We're probably looking at... early '18 is what we're wanting to do,” he said.

Mr Armstrong said the developers had recently provided more details about the proposal, and were now looking forward to public feedback, positive and negative.

The visual impact of the development on Lower Wonga was one of the main concerns they addressed.

"This industry is brand new, so there's a lot of unknowns or people's perceptions of what it could look like,” he said.

The low profile of solar panels was a bonus.

"If you're a couple of kilometres away, something that sits 2-2.5m high doesn't look very high at all,” Mr Armstrong said.

Vegetation screens would also be put in around the site.

Concerns from the Department of Transport and Main Roads over entry points were also addressed, along with transport.

"We have an intention of bringing workforce by bus, so we had to check the intersection of the Gympie-Woolooga Rd on to the Wide Bay Hwy to confirm that we had right turning circles,” he said.

Along with the 450 jobs the development would hopefully secure over the next four years, Mr Armstrong said they had an eye on boosting employment in other ways.

"We can actually then bring on apprentices, bring the training back into the community,” he said.

"When you start developing an area it starts bringing other jobs.”

SolarQ plans to host public forums over future stages of the development, and Mr Armstrong said he was happy to listen to people's concerns.

"We're available, if anybody has any questions.”

The proposal can be viewed at www.gympie.qld.gov.au/view-recent-development-applications Feedback is open until August 22.