SUNNY SIDE UP: Mayor Mark Jamieson (left) and councillor Steve Robinson look forward to the Coast having its own solar farm.
SUNNY SIDE UP: Mayor Mark Jamieson (left) and councillor Steve Robinson look forward to the Coast having its own solar farm. Brett Wortman

Council-run solar farm to cost up to $30 million

THE Sunshine Coast Regional Council said a 30 hectare solar farm being built at Valdora will save ratepayers $10 million over the next 30 years.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said the council hoped to get the $24 million to $30 million project under way within the next few weeks.

Once operational the farm would feed electricity back into the grid, save money on energy bills, shrink the region's carbon footprint and provide enough power for 4000 homes.

"This is leading edge, this is the biggest (solar farm) on the eastern seaboard," Cr Jamieson said.

"So that's pretty significant for the Sunshine Coast.

"Every time I say solar and Sunshine Coast, there's a great connection there for our brand, our image and what we're doing for our region.

"Certainly this puts us on our path to being Australia's most sustainable region."

The project is expected to generate 40 jobs during construction with council to release expressions of interest in the next week.

The council is yet to finalise due diligence, however, Cr Jamieson said he was confident it would go ahead.

The council's electricity bill was expected to top $110 million over the next 10 years and Cr Jamieson said the scheme would halve that, providing a net saving to ratepayers of $10 million over 30 years.

"It gives the clean tech industry, the green industries, the recycling industries a real beachhead to establish industry on the Sunshine Coast," he said.

Should council go into the solar farm business?

This poll ended on 24 July 2013.

Current Results

Yes. It's green, will create jobs and save us money

41%

No. It's the domain of private enterprise

22%

It depends on whether the figures stack up

33%

Why wouldn't the previous proponents do it?

2%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.



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