'Final touches' made to solar farm at Kelsey Creek
AN ARCHAEOLOGIST from Brisbane conducted a pedestrian survey of a site slated for a $110 million solar farm at Kelsey Creek on Monday.
Cultural heritage officer with RPS, Aaron Fogel, said the likelihood of discovering an indigenous cultural significant site was "low" but "there is a possibility of people coming up into the area to shelter during flooding events".
"We are here to do a preliminary assessment of the potential of Aboriginal or cultural heritage out here...so we can then move forward in the most responsible way," he said.
In September last year the Kelsey Creek Solar Consortium missed out on Australian Renewable Energy Agency funding worth $7 million but funding from a European private equity fund meant the project was still viable.
Technical consultant with the consortium, Kon Flaherty, said "final touches" were now being made ahead of the installation of 190,000 solar panels.
"All the initial land reports are done and now it is basically completing those for final submission," he said.
Negotiations with Ergon Energy about grid connections, the size of the system and modelling for the grid have taken nine months to complete, Mr Flaherty said.
Work on the installation is expected to begin later this year and be complete in nine months.
The 113 hectare site west of Proserpine has existing transmission lines running through the property.
"The studies we are doing now are looking at how power is being used in the region, modelling that power and then dropping the solar farm on top of that and determining where the power is going to go," Mr Flaherty said.
"When they hook it up is pretty much a hook up but what do you need to put in place there and further up the line to make sure it is all going to work in well?"
The power generated by the 60 mega watt system will be sold to Ergon and then on-sold to power users.
Mr Flaherty said the price of power was controlled by the Australian Energy Regulator and completion of the solar farm would not affect local electricity costs.
The project is expected to provide 180 jobs during the construction phase.