Application Lodged For 1,500 MW Solar Farm In Queensland

1,500 megawatt solar farm - Queensland

Image: plonk66

Queensland’s Somerset Regional Council has acknowledged it has received a development application for a 1,500 megawatt solar farm to be built east of Harlin.

Harlin is a small town in south east Queensland, approximately 130 kilometres north west of Brisbane.

Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann says the development application includes two substations, facilities for up to 60 employees and provision for battery storage at the proposed 2,055 hectare site on the D’Aguilar Highway.

The application, described by the Mayor as “complex”, was lodged by Ethos Urban planning consultants on behalf of Sunshine Energy Australia Pty Ltd.

While the former is a well-established company with a demonstrated history of large (non-solar) projects, there’s not much publicly available information on the web regarding Sunshine Energy Australia Pty Ltd. The company was registered early last year and its location is listed as Mitchell in the ACT.

 “The application has been referred to various government departments and agencies for their input and we will carefully assess it against our planning scheme like any other proposal,” said Mayor Lehmann.

A final capacity of 1,500MW (assuming DC capacity) means a lot of solar panels. For example, if the plant was based on 270 watt modules, it would require around 5.5 million. If 300 watt modules were used, it would need 5 million.

Huge, But Won’t Be The Biggest For Australia

1,500MW is big by any standard, but there’s another project in the works that could beat that by a large margin.

Back in November last year, we mentioned a consortium had announced a proposed wind and solar power plant of up to 6 gigawatts capacity, to be built on desert land in Western Australia’s East Pilbara region

The Asian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH) project is now set to expand to include an additional 3 GW of capacity. This has been possible due to increases in wind turbine sizes and capacity states the consortium.

The 9 GW of generation capacity will consist of 6 GW of wind turbines and 3 GW of solar PV, which combined will generate approximately 33 terawatt hours of electricity each year.

“The Energy Hub project capitalises on the Pilbara’s natural wind and solar assets and is directly aligned with the region’s vision for diversified and sustainable economic development,” said Pilbara Development Commission Chairperson Brendan Hammond.

The Environmental Impact Assessment for the AREH project is expected to be lodged in the middle of this year, with financial close anticipated in 2020/21 and construction to hopefully commence in 2023.

The project will supply large energy users in the Pilbara region and also export energy overseas via a sub-sea cable, generating electricity for 7 million homes in Indonesia.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.


  1. The AREH project doesn’t seem to be funded yet so I don’t get how that can be a legitimate comparison to any other smaller project.

  2. Is this project in kilcoy, Queensland?

    • Ronald Brakels says

      It’s roughly a 25 minute drive from Kilcoy. Not too far from where my father built a toilet block with his bare hands at Somerset Dam.

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