Construction will start next year on a landmark solar thermal power plant at Chinchilla, after the Federal Government committed $464 million to the project.

The 250 megawatt gas hybrid plant is part of Queensland’s Solar Dawn Project, and once complete will be one of the world’s largest and most greenhouse-friendly renewable energy projects.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh says the solar power plant is a major coup for the State, and will create up to 300 jobs during its construction.

"It will harness clean energy from the sun combined with a low-emission, gas boiler to produce clean, reliable power to meet Queensland’s growing energy demand,” Bligh says.

The Solar Dawn project is being led by AREVA Solar – a global solar steam designer and manufacturer – and Wind Prospect CWP.

The Queensland Government has committed $75 million to the project in addition to the Federal Government’s funding as part of round one of the Commonwealth’s $1.5 billion Solar Flagships Program.

Bligh says the south-west Queensland location was a strategic move by Solar Dawn. "It would be close to CS Energy’s 750 megawatt Kogan Creek Power Station and also near Powerlink Queensland’s Western Downs Substation which provides direct connection to Queensland’s electricity grid," she says.