According to Sunshine Coast Council’s announcement on its website, “The Sunshine Coast Solar Farm is now live and feeding electricity into the power grid.”
The 15-megawatt solar farm located in Valdora has given authority to the council to manage the electricity supply. This enables the council to dispute increasing electricity costs and attain beneficial sustainability milestone.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson stated that all power used in all facilities of the council will utilise energy generated from a renewable source. “We are the first council in Australia to build and operate a 15MW utility scale solar farm which will deliver $22 million in savings, after all costs, for our ratepayers over the next 30 years,” he added.
The solar farm will also be the first and the largest to connect to the electricity grid in South East Queensland, and the first in Australia to operate at 1500 volts DC. Mayor Jamieson considers the project impressive, even leading to 15 councils in the country to have asked about how they can accomplish such feat.
“What’s more, is that this project has been developed and delivered solely by our council, without any assistance from either the Federal or State governments, unlike many other solar farms being developed in Australia.
Both the State and Federal governments talk about achieving renewable energy targets – our council is getting on with and achieving ours – and well ahead of anyone else. Our vision is to be the most sustainable region in Australia – healthy, smart, creative.”
The Executive Director of Downer Utilities Trevor Cohen mentioned Downer was proud of its collaboration with Sunshine Coast Council in achieving its goal of becoming the most sustainable region in the country.