On 31 March 2020, Rodds Bay Solar Farm (Rodds Bay) achieved a significant milestone by issuing the Notice To Proceed (NTP) under its connection agreement with Powerlink Queensland.
Rodds Bay is a 300MWdc project developed by Renew Estate and will be one of Australia’s largest solar projects. It will connect to a strong part of Queensland’s 275kV transmission network south of Gladstone between Bororen and Rodds Bay. Rodds Bay has been granted planning approval from Gladstone Regional Council including approval to develop an 82MW I 164MWh battery on site. The project has passed the required tests relating to system strength and generator performance standards and signed a connection agreement with Powerlink in January.
Construction is scheduled to commence by Q3/Q4 2020, making this one of the most advanced solar developments in Queensland that can now be accelerated into construction.
Tom Harrison, Director of Renew Estate, commented "We have enjoyed a close working relationship with Powerlink over the past 2½ years and are very happy to be moving into the next stage of this project. I would like to thank the entire Powerlink team for working so collaboratively with us to realise the project, even amidst the exceptional challenges we have all faced over the past few weeks."
Simon Currie, Director of Renew Estate, commented "We continue to passionately believe that this project will deliver significant and impactful benefits not just to Gladstone, but also the wider regional economy in Queensland across 2020 and 2021. Our vision for this solar farm has always been to create positive and enduring social and economic legacies, including the creation of hundreds of jobs during construction. It will be one of the first renewable energy projects located close to Gladstone and will play a pivotal role in enabling Gladstone to become the future energy capital of Australia. We are very grateful for the support from the Powerlink team throughout the development cycle."
Mr Currie continued, "Renew Estate’s commitment since the beginning of this project to use local service providers, contractors and industry remains steadfast. We currently have nearly 400 businesses and individuals on our database who have registered an interest in the construction or operational phase of the solar farm. This project can play a part in transitioning the local skilled workforce and build resiliency in this critical region for the Queensland economy."