Shell Australia to Build Its First Large-Scale Solar Farm in Queensland

PVTIME - Shell Australia announced on February 2 it will build and operate its first industrial-scale solar electricity farm near Wandoan in central Queensland, Australia. The solar farm will generate 120 megawatts of solar electricity from about 400,000 photovolatic (PV) panels and is expected to be completed in early 2021. The project will create up to 200 new jobs during construction.

This investment is the latest example of how
Shell is building a cleaner, global power business and follows the company’s
recent acquisition of leading industrial electricity retailer, ERM Power, and
investment in solar developer, ESCO Pacific. Shell Energy Australia will be the
foundation customer for the project, with an equivalent amount of electricity
purchased from the national grid and sold to Shell’s QGC business, reducing
their carbon footprint.

Queensland was selected as the location for the project due
to its natural advantages for solar generation, having some of the most reliable
sunshine in the world. The project is also located adjacent to existing power
infrastructure and inside the footprint of Shell’s QGC onshore natural gas
project that stretches across Queensland’s Western Downs region.

“We believe solar will play an increasing role in the
global energy system, especially when partnered with a reliable energy source
such as gas,” said Shell Australia chairman Tony Nunan.

“We are proud to be investing in the ‘Sunshine State’ and
Queensland is a key centre of activity for Shell’s global ambition to expand
our integrated power business. Shell’s Gangarri solar farm will help power the
operations of our QGC project and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by around
300,000 tonnes a year.

“It continues our long-standing commitment to the regional
development of Queensland and creating thriving, diverse local economies. This
project will create local jobs in a range of skilled trades, including
electricians, machinists and operators. We recognise the need to play an active
role in creating the local talent, skills and opportunities that will be
critical for regional Queensland to realise its potential as a renewable energy

“Shell is proud to support the development of local talent
and opportunities for young people to acquire skilled trades through our
Pathways programs, which creates local traineeships and apprenticeships, and
our investment in science education programs in local schools, including in the
Western Downs. Shell has invested over $58 million in regional Queensland over
the last ten years supporting these and other social investment programs.”

“Solar is one of the building blocks of Shell’s power
strategy,” said Greg Joiner, Vice-President for Shell Energy in Australia.

“We are increasingly incorporating renewable energy into
customer offers, as we have done here for QGC, by combining renewable energy
with a firmed energy solution offering reliable supply, a fixed price and a
cleaner lower emission package.”