SunSHIFT to develop Australia's second largest solar hybrid system


A new contract with Energy Developments Pty Ltd (EDL) will see SunSHIFT build the nation’s first hybrid gas-fired power station for South32 at its Cannington mine in North Queensland.


EDL has signed a 14-year extension of its contract to supply electricity for Cannington, which includes partnering  with SunSHIFT to ‘hybridise’ the existing 34MW gas plant at the site, with a three megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) installation. 

The solar PV facility will become the second largest installed at a remote mine in Australia and the first in the country to hybridise an existing gas-fired generator.

Construction of the solar PV facility has commenced and it is expected to be fully operational in September 2018. It will be constructed offsite by SunSHIFT then installed with ‘plug and play’ functionality at the remote location. Once complete, it will cover an area equivalent to six football fields.

The solar PV set-up will be built and owned by SunSHIFT, a wholly-owned subsidiary of global engineering and construction firm Laing O’Rourke. SunSHIFT is the world's first pre-fabricated modular and movable solar power plant for large-scale, on-grid and off-grid electricity generation. 

SunSHIFT General Manager, Will Rayward-Smith, said the organisation is delighted to be working with EDL and South32. 

“We have commercialised large-scale, modular and moveable solar PV technology to provide the mining sector with access to low-cost renewable energy,” Mr Rayward-Smith said.  

“Our large-scale, modular and movable solar PV technology allows us to offer renewable energy to the mining sector on short-term and flexible contracts.”

“We encourage miners to take a low-risk path to hybridisation with a low-penetration solar PV installation and, over time, consider expanding capacity and introducing energy storage,” he said.

About SunSHIFT

SunSHIFT provides modular and moveable turnkey solar microgrid solutions. SunSHIFT can be used in on- and off-grid applications as a standalone system or integrated with other energy sources and storage.

SunSHIFT is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Laing O’Rourke, the global engineering and construction company specialising in Design for Manufacture and Construction across its global operations. SunSHIFT has been developed and demonstrated with the support of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and technology partners SunPower and ABB. For more information about how SunSHIFT is enabling the next wave of off-grid solar users, visit