by TONY RAGGATT, Townsville Bulletin
THE construction of a $225 million solar farm is set to begin at Kelso with developers and lead contractors advertising for the first of up to 250 jobs being created by the project.
The 148MW Ross River Solar Farm is being built on a disused mango farm in a rural residential area near Ross Dam, about 20km southeast of Townsville's CBD.
The project is being developed by solar farm proponent ESCO Pacific and infrastructure manager Palisade Investment Partners. Downer Utilities, part of the listed Downer Group, is lead construction contractor.
A spokeswoman for the developers said many people had expressed an interest in gaining the skills needed to work on this and other utility scale solar projects planned for North Queensland.
Big national firms such as Downer, RCR and Nilsen have won the engineering, procurement and construction contracts for North Queensland projects so far.