A new $200 million solar farm is expected to create up to 400 jobs, with construction beginning today.

The 200MW X-ELIO Blue Grass Solar Farm is located on the Western Downs, west of Chinchilla.

The solar farm will connect to Powerlink’s transmission network, and is expected to deliver 420 GWh of energy annually, powering 80,000 Queensland homes and offsetting more than 320,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Full operation of the solar farm is expected in late 2021.

The Blue Grass Solar Farm is X-ELIO’s largest solar farm in Australia and forms part of its planned expansion along Australia’s east coast, with additional projects planned for NSW and VIC.

The start of construction comes after X-ELIO secured regulatory and financial approvals.

The solar farm has received the support of state and local governments, with a launch event to be held in early 2021.

Western Down Regional Council Mayor Paul McVeigh said it was fantastic to see the Blue Grass Solar Farm progressing to construction.

“The Western Downs is earning its place as the renewable energy powerhouse in Australia, and it’s fantastic to see another project creating local jobs and boosting our economy,” Cr McVeigh said.

“We have the optimum climate, landscape and location for renewable energy, with a skilled workforce and great liveability to back growth in the sector.”

Powerlink will deliver new grid connection assets for the project, with construction of those to begin early 2021.

Originally published as 400 jobs to be created as $200m solar farm build begins