Cartoonist Harry Bruce's take on a $70 million Glenella solar energy project being pulled. Today's Harry Bruce cartoon has been brought to you by Dawson MP George Christensen. George is a proud supporter of free speech and the ability of our cartoonists to take the mickey out of the political class. Picture: Harry Bruce
Cartoonist Harry Bruce's take on a $70 million Glenella solar energy project being pulled. Today's Harry Bruce cartoon has been brought to you by Dawson MP George Christensen. George is a proud supporter of free speech and the ability of our cartoonists to take the mickey out of the political class. Picture: Harry Bruce

Plug pulled on $70M Glenella solar farm

THE plug has been pulled on a $70 million Glenella energy project which could have powered 11,500 Mackay homes.

New South Wales renewable energy developer Terrain Solar has withdrawn its application for the Holts Rd project.

The Mackay Regional Council development application was withdrawn on Thursday December 10 in an anticlimactic end to the two-year saga.

Terrain Solar submitted a development application to the council to build an 88ha solar farm over land at Larkins Rd, Glenella-Richmond Rd and Holts Rd, Glenella.

The project would have generated 30-40 megawatts over its 40 year lifespan and have created more than 100 local jobs for construction managers, electricians, fitters, various plant operators, mechanics and general labourers.

New South Wales renewable energy developer Terrain Solar has withdrawn its application for the Holts Rd project.
New South Wales renewable energy developer Terrain Solar has withdrawn its application for the Holts Rd project.


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In 2019, Terrain Solar director Chris Wilson said Mackay was selected for its construction and logistics industries as well as sunny climate.

Mr Wilson had hoped the project would break ground by the end of the year, but community opposition, Ergon Energy referrals, council information requests and eight extensions by agreement dragged out the process.

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Mackay resident Mary Cruickshank said the solar farm would destroy the prime agricultural land and damage the sensitive Jane Creek catchment.
Mackay resident Mary Cruickshank said the solar farm would destroy the prime agricultural land and damage the sensitive Jane Creek catchment.

Mackay resident Mary Cruickshank voiced her opposition to the development in June 2019, saying it would destroy the prime agricultural land and damage the sensitive Jane Creek catchment.

Glenella resident Frank Sheperd said he was concerned about the location of the proposed solar farm, with it 5km from the city.

"Mackay is known for its green valleys and both cane growing and tourism will be affected," Mr Sheperd said in June.

"The beautiful valley will be destroyed."

Mary Cruickshank and Frank Shepherd at the Holts Rd property where the solar farm was proposed.
Mary Cruickshank and Frank Shepherd at the Holts Rd property where the solar farm was proposed.

Despite withdrawing its application, Terrain Solar still states the Glenella Solar Farm is "in development" on its website.

The company is registered with ASIC.


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