1200 jobs for Queensland from renewable projects
NEW large-scale renewable energy projects in Queensland will deliver more than 1200 jobs across the state this year alone.
The sun is shining brightest on the north's hard-hit jobs market, with six major solar power projects between Emerald and Cooktown delivering 950 positions in 2017.
Three major renewable energy projects under construction are providing more than 250 jobs, including 150 jobs at the Mt Emerald Wind Farm near Cairns and 60 at the Sunshine Coast Solar Farm.
Northwest of Port Douglas, solar company Conergy is constructing the Lakeland Solar and Storage project, with about 40 employees onsite.
Soil will be broken next week to turn a disused gold mine into Genex's 50 megawatt Kidston Solar Farm, 270km northwest of Townsville, with 100 jobs on offer. A pump hydro project onsite using the old mine's dams will provide more jobs in 2018.
Genex executive general manager James Harding said the company was committed to hiring local workers.
"In the whole Townsville catchment area, there will be significant employment opportunities," Mr Harding said.
Conergy managing director David McCallum is similarly bullish about the renewables sector as a jobs creator in Queensland.
"When you look at all the projects in the pipeline and in development, it's huge," he said.
Clean Energy Council chief executive Kane Thornton said that renewable energy projects are primed to create thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investment for the Sunshine State.
"The projects that are guaranteed to go to construction this year are a great start, creating employment and contract work in many regional areas," Mr Thornton said.
"Townsville is emerging as a renewable energy hub, and there are other major projects in the pipeline as well."
A further 600 renewables jobs are expected to come in additional projects which have financial backing.
State Energy Minister Mark Bailey said the projects were delivering on the Government's commitment to grow the renewable sector in Queensland and create jobs in the regions.