Pacific Hydro refocuses renewable efforts after decision not to proceed with Keyneton wind farm

17 October 2019

Pacific Hydro Australia has recently made a decision not to proceed with construction of its Keyneton wind farm in South Australia.

Pacific Hydro’s decision is regrettable but comes on the back of a recent judgement by Minister for Planning, Stephan Knoll MP, not to grant an extension of time for the Keyneton wind farm project.

As one of Australia’s largest clean energy providers, Pacific Hydro remains fully committed to renewable energy but due to policy, commercial and grid connection changes outside its control has not been able to meet the deadlines on the Keyneton wind farm project.

“Renewable energy is central to creating a healthy environment and to Australia meeting its carbon targets under the Paris Agreement,” said Rachel Watson, CEO of Pacific Hydro Australia.

“Pacific Hydro remains more committed than ever to those goals.”

There have been a lot of changes since the project was first conceived 13 years ago that have hampered Pacific Hydro’s capacity to proceed with the Keyneton wind farm.

Cited in the Minister’s judgement is the changed policy framework which deems the project to now be ‘“non-complying” because it is within the Barossa Valley Character Preservation District and not an envisaged land use.

Fluctuating policy settings have created resource, legal and government approval bottlenecks that have ultimately made meeting construction time frames on the Keyneton project impossible to meet.

“The shifting policy framework within and between federal and state governments has created time delays, commercial uncertainty, and impacted investor confidence,” said Ms Watson.

“Add to that changing grid connection requirements and it has added up to the Keyneton wind farm not being a viable project. We are now in the process of communicating the decision with affected land holders.”

Pacific Hydro has invested heavily in the sector and has several significant renewable energy projects underway.

“Pacific Hydro is expanding its base of development projects, including 1,500 megawatts of solar plants across the Eastern States, a 300+ megawatt pumped hydro in North Queensland, the addition of battery storage, as well as pursuing wind sites,” said Ms Watson.

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