Sun rises on new era of solar development

19 June 2017

Pacific Hydro’s continued investment in large-scale solar reached a major milestone today with the granting of planning permission for Stage One of its planned 500MW solar farm in Haughton, Queensland.

Burdekin Shire Council issued a Material Change of Use (MCU) Permit for the 1,200ha site, which when completed will have the capacity to generate enough electricity to power up to 170,000 homes.

Pacific Hydro CEO, Mike Fuge welcomed the news. “This is a tremendous vote of confidence in Pacific Hydro’s capability and expertise, and in particular our commitment to environmental sustainability and collaboration with local communities,” he said.

“This project is also extremely important to a myriad of stakeholders”, he said.

“It is important to the government because of the significant contribution it will make to the Renewable Energy Target but it is also incredibly important to our company and our owners in terms of our global growth plans and it is important to the local economy,” he added.

Haughton Solar Farm will deliver a boost to the local economy with around 240 workers required on site during construction, and up to 10 permanent jobs will be created to operate the asset. These jobs will represent a diversification of skills and economic output for the region, helping supplement the agricultural industry in the area.

The Mayor of Burdekin Shire Council, Cr Lyn McLaughlin, also expressed her support for the project. “The Burdekin, with its abundant sunshine, available land and sustainable water supply, is very well positioned to accommodate this type of new and exciting industry.  The Burdekin Shire is ideal for large scale solar farms as it is recognised as having high levels of solar irradiation,” said Cr McLaughlin.

“Burdekin Shire Council welcomes this significant investment by Pacific Hydro into the region and is excited about the investment and employment opportunities that will be available to local residents and businesses.”

A tender for supply and construction of the site is expected to be released over the coming weeks, with construction planned to start in 2018. Community consultation will continue throughout the life of the project.

Pacific Hydro was purchased in 2016 by State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) through State Power Investment Overseas of China (SPIC Overseas), after participating in a highly competitive international sale process.

SPIC is one of the top five power generation groups in China, and ranks first in the world in solar with over 5GW of capacity. SPIC has been a Fortune Global 500 company for four consecutive years, with US$119.36 Billion total assets and a total installed capacity that exceeds 100 GW.

Media contact: Engagement and External Affairs Team 1800 730 734