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Central Highlands announces first solar farm

As a result of Australia’s growing population, energy consumption will no doubt be a hot topic in the coming years. Solar is both a clean and renewable energy source and many Queensland residents are now seeing the benefit of installing panels on the roofs of their homes and businesses.

In fact, according to a recent Brisbane Times article, Queensland features the most household solar systems across the country. Recent figures suggest that out of the 1.44 million domestic solar systems, close to 500,000 are located in the Sunshine state. Additionally, this number continues to grow with more than 22,000 already installed in the 2015 calendar year.

However, domestic solar is just one part of a wide industry, one that stands to grow substantially in the years ahead.

Solar is definitely the future for state residents, but it could also be a great opportunity for apprentices across the Queensland state, based on an announcement from the Central Highlands Regional Council.

First solar farm

Outlined by the council last month, the 400-hectare solar farm is planned and developed by FRV Services Australia (Fotowatio Renewable Ventures). The business is a well-known entity in the solar energy industry and will construct the first solar farm in the Central Highlands region.

Having already gained approval for similar projects in New South Wales and the ACT, FRV Services Australia believes there are significant benefits to be had from the infrastructure. In fact, according to the council, the investment is estimated at $400 million and up to 200 jobs will be created throughout the project.

Central Highlands’ Mayor Peter Maguire explained that this type of investment is positive for the entire region’s economy and employment situation.

“There’s no doubt Tieri and the surrounding towns of Capella and Emerald will benefit from the activity associated with the construction and I’m pleased the company had confidence in the service capacity of our region to make their choice,” he said.

“This type of investment in the Central Highlands is exactly the type of diversification of enterprise and economic focus that we need in the face of current challenges in the resource industry.”

Of course, Mr Maguire states this is a “vote of confidence” for the region and believes this won’t be the last large-scale solar project in the Central Highlands as the state innovates its energy sources.

In fact, apprentices learning solar-related skills could become a marketable asset in the future as both business and household adoption continues to rise.

By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator

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