More than 45 workers are already on site, with the number expected to exceed 160 at the peak of construction.
More than 45 workers are already on site, with the number expected to exceed 160 at the peak of construction. The University of Queensland

Warwick Solar Farm construction launch not open to public

AN EVENT to mark the start of construction on the $125 million UQ Warwick Solar Farm is not open to the public due to occupational health and safety regulations.

This morning, University of Queensland vice-chancellor Peter Høj will visit the site to officially launch construction on the project that is expected to create employment for more than 160 people during the building phase.

Professor Høj said the event marked a significant milestone for UQ, which will become the world's first major university to offset 100 per cent of its electricity use from its own renewable energy asset.

"At UQ, we are unashamedly committed to being a leader in sustainability and the renewable energy sector," Professor Høj said.

"We are proud to become a part of the Southern Downs community through this project, and to help generate regional jobs in our home state.

"This will become a centrepiece of our education and research into renewables, and the Southern Downs region can expect regular visitors from UQ and further afield over the 25-year life of the solar farm."

Local suppliers involved in the early stages of the project have provided services ranging from quarry material and cement to office supplies and accommodation.

The UQ Warwick Solar Farm is scheduled to be completed late this year, and will employ about half a dozen staff - including a UQ facility manager - on an on-going basis.

Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie said she was thrilled to see Lendlease, UQ's lead construction contractor, working on the site.

"UQ's investment gives this renewables project the extra dimensions of education and research - setting it apart from other solar farms being developed in regional Queensland.

The 64 megawatt solar farm is expected to be generating power by early 2020.