SOLAR FLAIR: Alex and Scott Armstrong have proposed to build Australia's largest solar farm at Lower Wonga.
SOLAR FLAIR: Alex and Scott Armstrong have proposed to build Australia's largest solar farm at Lower Wonga. Scott Kovacevic

Investors line up to get in on region's $2b solar farm

AUSTRALIA'S proposed largest solar farm has caught the global eye, with "huge" interest from Australian and overseas investors in the Gympie region project.

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SolarQ managing director Scott Armstrong said yesterday the interest came as the group prepared to meet with impacted residents for consultation on the $2 billion project next week.

While some hurdles have yet to be cleared, Mr Armstrong and his brother Alex are optimistic final development approval for Stage 1 could be received by the start of the new financial year.

"All of the concurrent and advice agencies have 30 days to get back to us, and then we go into a public notification period of about 20 days," Alex Armstrong said.

The Departments of Agriculture and Fisheries, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, and Transport and Main Roads are the concurrent agencies the approval is before.

If approved, construction will provide a significant injection into the region's economy thanks to the site's location adjacent to the Lower Wonga substation, where construction camps will not be established.

"We can actually use people in the area," Scott Armstrong said.

"We don't have to fly people out to a project; we don't have to fly them back."

While fabrication and electrical companies will be in high demand from the development, non-trade jobs will also need to be filled.

Mr Armstrong said he was excited by the project, which had the potential to have a massive impact on the energy industry in the future and, once complete, was capable of replacing an entire gas-fired power station.

Gympie Times


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