Pacific Hydro’s has been given planning permission for Stage One of its planned 500MW solar farm in Haughton, Queensland.
Pacific Hydro was purchased in 2016 by State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) through State Power Investment Overseas of China (SPIC Overseas).
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 said the approval was “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” .
“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 employ around 240 workers required on site during construction, and up to 10 permanent jobs will be created to operate the asset.
The Mayor of Burdekin Shire Council, Cr Lyn McLaughlin, said the Burdekin Shire was “ideal for large scale solar farms as it is recognised as having high levels of solar irradiation” .
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.
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.