Singapore-based Equis Energy has secured approval from the Western Downs regional council in Queensland to develop the 1,000MW Wandoan South Solar Project (WSSP).

Requiring an investment of A$1.5bn ($1.2bn), the project will be equipped with up to three million solar photovoltaic (PV) panels.

WSSP will be able to produce around 1,800,000MWh/y, which is equivalent to the annual requirement of 255,000 homes.

The output will also be able to save more than 1.7 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually as compared to coal-fired power plants with the same generation capacity.  

Construction of WSSP is set to begin next year, while commissioning is expected in 2019.

"WSSP will be able to produce around 1,800,000MWh/y, which is equivalent to the annual requirement of 255,000 homes."

The project is spread across 1,424ha of land and will be linked to Powerlink’s Wandoan South substation. Once commercially feasible, it will also include a battery storage facility.

Western Downs' regional council Mayor Paul McVeigh said: “We are serious about cementing the Western Downs as the Energy Capital of Australia and securing the enormous economic and community benefits that will bring to our region.

“Equis has expressed their desire to be proactive in their consultation with neighbours of this project site, and that aligns with the business model we are promoting for renewable energy projects.

“The timeframe in which the council has processed this application highlights the message 'we are open for business', and I think it is important to reiterate that although our approval process is rigorous, it is efficient.”

Around 300 to 400 jobs are expected to be created during the construction phase of WSSP, reported Toowoomba Chronicle.