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Acciona Energy has been selected to transform 1250ha of state-owned land at Aldoga, Gladstone into a solar energy project.

The $500 million project is set to support up to 240 construction jobs and 10 ongoing jobs, and the company has committed to policies giving preference to local sub-contractors and manufacturers.

State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Cameron Dick said the signing of the Agreement for Lease signalled the start of a project that would generate renewable energy and boost the local economy.

“Acciona Energy will develop, finance, construct and operate a $500 million solar farm through a 30-year lease with the Queensland Government and they are committed to Buy Queensland and Gladstone Buy Local procurement strategies,” he said.

“At maximum capacity, up to 265MW (AC), it will deliver the equivalent amount of energy needed to supply up to 122,000 households, which is around five times the number of households in Gladstone.”

Acciona Energy would also establish a community benefits fund of $50,000 to $120,000 per year to be provided to local clubs, associations and community groups in the region, Mr Dick said.

“Combined with the renewable energy that will be generated, and the lease payments that will be made to the State, this project represents a major boost to the local community – economically, environmentally and socially.”

Mr Dick said 16 companies had submitted an Expression of Interest to Economic Development Queensland to transform the land at Aldoga into a renewable energy project.

“An extremely competitive shortlist of five major renewable energy companies saw Acciona Energy selected to now undertake a detailed feasibility study and to obtain development approvals,” he said.

“This could take around 12 months, meaning construction may begin in the second half of next year, and electricity generation in the second half of 2020.”

Five large-scale solar projects have commenced operations in Queensland in the past 18 months, bringing the total operational capacity of renewable energy in the state to more than 780MW.

Another 23 large-scale projects, totalling 2200MW, are financially committed or under construction.

Image:State Development Minister Cameron Dick with Acciona managing director Brett Wickham and Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher on the land where the project will be built.