November 14 (Renewables Now) - Plans for a 60-MW solar park in Queensland have been stalled after a regional council refused to give its nod to the AUD-110-million (USD 83.9m/EUR 71.9m) Mirani project, the Mackay Daily Mercury reports.
The scheme was proposed by Australian renewables developer ESCO Pacific Pty Ltd, whose plan called for the installation of around 180,000 photovoltaic (PV) panels on agricultural land between the townships of Mirani and Gargett.
According to the report, the proposal received the red light by the Mackay Regional Council's economic development and planning standing committee as the selected site is being used for sugar cane production. The plan also attracted vast opposition from local cane growers and Australian sugar milling company Mackay Sugar Ltd.
A council officer previously recommended the project for approval subject to conditions.
The 60-MW facility was expected to generate enough electricity to supply 27,000 homes per year. Allison Hawke, ESCO Pacific’s head of development, told the daily that the company was surprised by the council’s decision but will not back down.
(AUD 1.0 = USD 0.763/EUR 0.654)