Pacific Partnerships granted green light for 700MW PV project in Australia

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The project site will cater for 1,600MWh of battery energy storage. Image: RWE.

Renewable energy developer Pacific Partnerships Energy has gained development rights for one of Australia’s largest solar PV projects, with 700MW of generation capacity and a 1,600MWh co-located battery energy storage system (BESS).

Pacific Partnerships stated it would develop, invest in, and deliver the Cobbora Solar Farm and BESS, which will be located on a 3,000-hectare site near Dubbo, New South Wales.

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Engineering and construction company Cimic, which owns Pacific Partnerships, will employ fellow company UGL to undertake early works, develop the project solution, and provide operation and maintenance services once it is completed.

Pacific Partnerships purchased the project from Marble Energy, a renewable energy developer based in Sydney.

Pacific Partnerships managing director Simon Nicholls declared the project a “fundamental piece of the Central West Orana Renewable Energy Zone (CWO REZ), which in turn is a critical priority for the NSW government”.

The project will be located 55 kilometers east of Dubbo on mostly cleared grazing land. Because of this, the developer aims to incorporate agrivoltaics (agriPV) with the site designed to ensure the current productive sheep grazing is able to continue when the solar farm is operational.

According to Marble Energy co-director Tim Kirk, the project will be located on a low, undulating landscape, making it the “ideal site for a solar farm development”.

Last week (14 June), Edify Energy similarly proposed the use of agriPV on its Callide Solar Power Station Project, a 200MW solar PV farm near the Callide coal-fired power station in Central Queensland, Australia.

Pacific Partnerships confirmed that an Environmental Impact Statement for the Cobbora Solar Farm is due to be submitted to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) in late 2024, before being placed on public exhibition for community and stakeholder feedback.

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