Australian developer of utility scale solar projects, ESCO Pacific, is moving forward with its project pipeline, having submitted development applications for three new solar farms with a total installed capacity of 320MW. These projects follow on from the recently approved 135MW Ross River Solar Farm near Townsville. In the pipeline is an 85MW solar farm at Isis River in Queensland, which is expected to generate 168GWh of electricity annually.
The project will be located on flat cattle grazing and cropping land. Bundaberg Regional Council is expected to give a decision on the application in early October 2016.
Further Queensland-based projects at Susan River (Fraser Coast Regional Council) with an installed capacity of 125MW, and Rollingstone (Townsville City Council) with an installed capacity of 110 MW, are anticipated to be decided on toward the end of October 2016 and early November 2016 respectively.
ESCO Pacific Managing Director Steve Rademaker said: “We continue to accelerate and grow our pipeline of projects and remain excited about the development opportunities in Queensland. With the State having the best solar irradiance in the country, our projects will contribute greatly to Australia’s renewable energy transformation and create hundreds of jobs in Queensland.”
ESCO Pacific is in discussions with a number of offtake partners as the company moves towards securing grid connection contracts for the three new projects. In June 2016, ESCO Pacific received planning consent from Townsville City Council for the development of a 135MW solar farm to be built on a disused mango plantation at Ross River.
The project will cover an area of 202 hectares and, when operational, will generate renewable energy to meet the annual power needs of approximately 50,000 average households. The $250 million project is expected to take 12 months to build with work to commence in early 2017.