Cimic subsidiary snaps up 250 MW Queensland solar project


Pacific Partnerships, a subsidiary of the Sydney-headquartered construction and engineering firm Cimic Group, has acquired the 250 MW (300 MWdc) Hopeland Solar Farm being developed near Chinchilla in Queensland’s Western Downs region.

The project, which is now likely to include a 175 MW/350 MWh battery energy storage system, is the second large-scale solar project to be owned and developed by Pacific Partnerships.

Pacific Partnerships, through its energy business Pacific Partnerships Energy, is also developing the 102 MW Glenrowan Solar Farm in northeast Victoria.

Cimic Executive Chairman Juan Santamaria said the purchase of the Hopeland project from Brisbane-based Renewable Energy Partners forms part of the group’s broader plan to establish a portfolio of large-scale renewable generation assets in Australia with Queensland a key focal point.

“Queensland is a strategic focus as we expand our diversified national portfolio of energy and utilities assets and contribute to the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan for 70% of electricity consumption to be sourced from renewables by 2032, and 80% by 2035,” Santamaria said.

“Cimic is committed to supporting Queensland’s energy transition and developing the large-scale renewable generation assets and infrastructure required to support it.”

The Hopeland Solar Farm is being developed adjacent to Powerlink’s Western Downs 275 kV substation within the Southern Queensland Renewable Energy Zone. The region has close to 2.2 GW of committed renewable energy projects in the pipeline while a further 11 GW of renewable energy has been targeted.

Pacific Partnerships Managing Director Simon Nicholls said the project location lends itself to the addition of battery energy storage.

“The solar farm will have the potential to generate enough independent electricity to power approximately 100,000 average-sized homes in Queensland,” he said. “And its strategic location close to Western Downs substation makes it ideal for co-location of a potential 175 MW/350 MWh battery energy storage system.”

Pacific Partnerships, which will develop and manage the Hopeland facility, said it has already commenced early works on the project and is teaming with fellow Cimic offshoot UGL to support this phase.

It is anticipated the Hopeland Solar Farm will commence operations in 2026.

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