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Blue Grass solar farm kicks off with 400 jobs promised


Spain-based solar developer X-Elio has started the construction of its 200-megawatt Blue Grass solar farm near Chinchilla with the prospect of 400 jobs.

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The $200 million project struck an offtake agreement with Salesforce earlier this year and recently secured regulatory and financial approvals to launch construction.

Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Paul McVeigh said it was fantastic to see the Blue Grass Solar Farm progressing to construction.

“The Western Downs is earning its place as the renewable energy powerhouse in Australia, and it’s fantastic to see another project creating local jobs and boosting our economy,” McVeigh said.

“We have the optimum climate, landscape and location for renewable energy, with a skilled workforce and great livability to back growth in the sector.”

The solar farm would be able to generate electricity for 80,000 homes and deliver an anticipated 420 GWh of green energy annually once construction of the solar farm is complete in late 2021. It will offset more than 320,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.

X-ELIO country manager Belinda Fan said the Blue Grass solar farm demonstrated X-ELIO’s commitment to developing high-quality and locally responsible renewable projects.

“We understand our role in the local community and look forward to being able to give back by dedicating a percentage of the project’s annual gross income to a Community Support and Benefit Sharing Program. This program will fund local community programs from the first year of the project’s operation in 2022.”

X-ELIO continues to expand its operations in Australia, with additional utility scale PV projects expected to commence construction in the next 18 months, including the Wunghnu project in Victoria and the Forest Glen project in New South Wales.

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