Mystery company shows interest in giant solar farm
A MYSTERY company has shown interest in council-owned land, valued at $2.62m, for a solar farm investment, which would be the second solar farm in the region.
Interest has been expressed in 174.67 hectares of council- owned property near Childers from a company specialising in large-scale solar energy farming.
At yesterday's ordinary meeting Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey said he believed it was in the public interest to invite expressions of interest in leasing the five properties.
The unnamed company is represented through an inquiry made to the council by CBRE Real Estate Advisory seeking interest on behalf of its client to source four lots on Buxton Rd and one lot adjacent to the Bruce Highway south of Childers.
Cr Dempsey said the land in question had previously been offered for sale with minimal public interest.
"(The) council chose this option as it provided openness and transparency in the disposal of the land and provided better opportunities for (the) council to explore innovative ideas for the properties," he said.
"The proponent company is interested in four lots on Buxton Rd with a total area of 131.55 hectares and one lot opposite the Childers Airstrip, formerly identified as the site of an industrial estate, comprising 43.12 hectares. The properties have a nominal value of $2.62 million."
The mayor said the proponent company had, among other options, expressed interest to buy the properties through a single three-year Option to Purchase agreement.
"However, other options included a 25-year lease over the properties as well as the provision of electricity to (the) council and the wider region as a non-monetary component of any lease payments," he said.
"(The) council has a number of avenues available to it regarding the ultimate leasing or disposal of the properties."
In January last year a massive solar farm worth $210 million was approved 15 kilometres south of Childers and was expected to boost the local economy.