Australia’s biggest solar and battery hybrid project planned at site of abandoned “dud” coal mine

The development rights to what will surely be biggest co-located solar and battery storage hybrid projects in Australia’s main grid have been bought by Pacific Partnerships, part of the listed engineering and construction company Cimic.

The Cobbora project will combine 700 megawatts (MW) of solar and up to 1,600 megawatt hours (MWh) of battery storage, and is to be built where the state government had a decade ago planned a new coal mining project before abandoning the controversial proposal.

The plan for the Cobbora coal mine, near Dunedoo in the state’s central west, included a proposal for a new coal fired generator that was described as the “dud deal of the century”[1] in 2014 by the then treasurer Mike Baird.

The land parcels for the coal project were sold by the state government and the solar and battery project in its place was first proposed by Sydney-based renewable energy developer Marble Energy.

The rights have now been bought by Pacific Partnerships, which has massively upsized the battery component from an original 200 MW and 200 MWh. It will develop the project and hire its sister company UGL to build and operate it.

“Cimic is committed to Australia’s energy transition and is developing the large-scale renewable generation assets and infrastructure required to support it,” group chairman Juan Santamaria said in a statement.

“NSW is part of our strategic new energy focus as we expand our diversified national portfolio of assets and contribute to the Australian Government’s commitments to reach net zero emissions by 2050.”

The Cobbora project is located within the Central West Orana Renewable Energy Zone (CWO REZ), which is a key part of the NSW government roadmap to replace its ageing coal fired power stations with renewables and storage.

Source: Marble Energy.

The project is located 55km east of Dubbo on mostly cleared grazing land and is expected to continue to host sheep grazing when the solar farm is operational.

It will be Cimic’s second big solar project, following the newly completed Glenrown solar farm in Victoria, and the company says it plans to repeat the benefit sharing program with the local community from the project.

An Environmental Impact Statement for Cobbora 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.

“The Cobbora Solar Farm will be located on a low, undulating landscape. This makes it an ideal site for a solar farm development,” Marble Energy co-director Tim Kirk said in a statement.

See also Renew Economy’s Big Battery Storage Map of Australia.[2]

Giles Parkinson is founder and editor of Renew Economy[3], and is also the founder of One Step Off The Grid[4] and founder/editor of the EV-focused The Driven[5]. He is the co-host of the weekly Energy Insiders Podcast[6]. Giles has been a journalist for more than 40 years and is a former business and deputy editor of the Australian Financial Review. You can find him on LinkedIn and on Twitter.


  1. ^ “dud deal of the century” (
  2. ^ Big Battery Storage Map of Australia. (
  3. ^ Renew Economy (
  4. ^ One Step Off The Grid (
  5. ^ The Driven (
  6. ^ Energy Insiders Podcast (

Click here to read original article

Leave A Reply

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More