The Adani Group plans to start construction in mid-2017 on its $200 million Rugby Run Solar Farm near Moranbah in the Bowen Basin.
The company expects the project workforce to peak at 350 employees, with full-time operations staff to number up to five.
Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry welcomed the proposal, saying the project would create new jobs and provide a welcome shot in the arm for the mining town – normally reliant on coal.
The Adani Energy Company plans to build the solar plant on a 600ha block that was part of the Rugby Run grazing property about 20km from Moranbah.
“This is welcome news for the region that will generate hundreds of jobs during the construction phase and maintenance jobs once the plant is fully operational,” Ms Landry said.
Rugby Run Solar Farm will use the latest mono-PERC technology and single axis tracking systems developed to improve efficiency and output.
It is one of two major solar projects in Australia next year, each with an output of 100-200 MW, that Adani plans to start building next year.
The company said land agreements were in place for the projects in Queensland and South Australia and that it had commenced the design and tendering phases for both projects.
It has flagged intentions to develop renewable energy projects in Australia with a total capacity of 1500 MW within the next five years.
Adani has developed about 793MW of solar plant in India to date, including one of the world’s largest solar plants at Tamil Nadu in southern India which has a capacity of 648MW. Adani has a pipeline of a further 1225 MW in construction or late development phase in India.
The Australian solar projects are in addition to Adani’s $16.5 billion investment in the planned Carmichael coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin a well as rail and port facilities.
The company’s head of Australian operations, Jeyakumar Janakaraj, said that these projects would offer a solid foundation to Adani’s renewable energy business in Australia and contribute to meeting Australia’s Renewable Energy Target commitments.
“Coupled with the company’s $3.3 billion dollars of investment to date across its mine, rail and port projects in Queensland, Adani’s plans to pursue solar investment opportunities reflect the confidence the company has in the Australian market,” Mr Janakaraj said.
“This reflects both Adani’s commitment as a diversified energy and infrastructure company in India and a leading solar generator in that market, and the company’s plans to build a long-term future with Australia.”