A proposed solar farm on council-owned landfill could provide an avenue to power River Heart Parklands on green energy.

Conservation and Environment Committee Chairperson Councillor Kerry Silver said council was approached by LMS Energy, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Joule Energy, to establish a solar farm on closed landfill at Whitwood Road, New Chum.

“There is an established relationship between council and the company on the New Chum site, with LMS Energy extracting landfill gas to generate electricity. This proposed solar farm would expand the existing operation,” she said.

“It would be an excellent opportunity to maximise the use of the closed landfill site, which has little alternative use.”

Cr Silver said under the proposed arrangement, Joule Energy would pay council an agreed amount for use of the site.

“Existing power grid arrangements make it difficult to directly link the solar farm’s power to council’s electricity usage, however council is committed to sustainability,” she said.

“So it is proposed that council would use the proceeds from Joule Energy to purchase green energy from council’s energy retailers for River Heart Parklands.”

The first two stages of the proposed solar farm would have a capacity of 1.5Mw, which is enough to power 600 homes. Subject to approvals, the solar farm could be in operation by the first quarter of 2019.

There is potential for a third stage of the project on recently capped landfill area, which could allow the entire facility to generate up to 6Mw, enough to power about 2000 homes.

There's lots of energetic ideas in Ipswich First