Solar farm deal set to create 400 jobs in Western Downs
A SOLAR farm energy deal between Salesforce and global renewables company X-Elio, for Queensland’s Blue Grass Solar Farm, is set to create 400 construction jobs in the Western Downs.
Construction has already commenced on the 200MW utility solar farm located in Cameby, and it is set to wrap up in 2021.
Salesforce Australia and New Zealand chief executive officer, Pip Marlow said, under the new agreement, the Blue Grass project will supply generation certificates to meet Salesforce’s renewable energy requirements.
“We are proud to team up with X-ELIO on the Blue Grass solar farm, a project which will bring jobs to regional Queensland, support the local community and deliver new renewable energy generation,” he said.
“Salesforce is on a path to 100 per cent renewable energy and we have a plan to get there by 2022.
“This is an important step on this path and one which we hope inspires other leaders. The climate crisis requires bold action, today.”
X-ELIO’s Country Australian manager, Belinda Fan said the partnership is a significant milestone for the companies operations in Australia.
“This partnership (will help in) furthering our ambitions in Australia’s renewables market,” she said.
“In Salesforce, we have found a like-minded partner who shares our community-focused goals and emissions reduction ambitions.
“While X-ELIO powers many global businesses across our international portfolio, this (agreement) strengthens our position in Australia where we will continue to pursue new growth opportunities to expand our national footprint in the renewables market.
“This includes 400MW of pipeline currently in development, which is growing exponentially each year.
“Solar is going from strength to strength in Australia and we’re thrilled to be a part of the nation’s renewable energy future.”
X-ELIO will also be dedicating a percentage of the Blue Grass Solar Farm’s annual gross income to a Community Support and Benefit Sharing Program.
“We are tremendously proud to be a part of the community in Queensland’s Western Downs region and contribute to the region’s economic and social development, ” Ms Fan said.
This Community Support and Benefit Sharing Program will support local community projects in areas such as education and community renewable projects.”
The farm is expected to generate 420GWh of green energy each year to power 80,000 Queensland homes, create 400 new jobs, and deliver over $200 million in capital investment within Queensland.
The 10-year Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (VPPA) between the two companies is estimated to displace up to 80,000 tons of CO2 emissions each year, to hit Salesforce’s goal to power operations with 100% renewable energy by 2022.