Oil and gas company, Shell Australia has unveiled its plans to construct its first industrial-scale solar project in Australia.

To be located near Wandoan in central Queensland, Australia, the Gangarri solar plant will have a capacity to generate 120MW of power from approximately 400,000 photovolatic (PV) panels.

Slated to be completed early next year, the project is expected to create about 200 new jobs during the construction phase.

Queensland energy minister Lynham said: “With Shell sanctioning this 400,000 panel solar farm it will become part of Queensland’s clean energy revolution, which is providing the world a practical template on how to transition to low emissions future.

“The Darling Downs and South West Queensland is literally an energy powerhouse, these regions have developed the unprecedented large scale $70 billion onshore gas industry from a standing start, now it hosting some of largest clean energy generators in the country.”

Shell Energy Australia will serve as the foundation customer for the solar project

Upon completion, the solar project will be connected to the National Electricity Market grid with the capacity equivalent to supply electricity to 50,000 homes.

Shell Energy Australia will serve as the foundation customer for the Gangarri solar project, securing an equivalent amount of electricity from the national grid and selling it to Shell’s QGC business.

The purchase is expected to reduce the carbon emissions of the firm’s QGC natural gas processing project.

Shell Australia chairman Tony Nunan said: “We are proud to be investing in the ‘Sunshine State’ and Queensland is a key centre of activity for Shell’s global ambition to expand our integrated power business.

“Shell’s Gangarri solar farm will help power the operations of our QGC project and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by around 300,000 tonnes a year.”

In December last year, Shell and ESCO Pacific formed a strategic partnership, which combines ESCO Pacific’s solar development and asset management expertise with Shell’s global scale and energy capabilities.