Giant solar farm feels heat as wind up action launched

A planned $3.5 billion solar farm in the picturesque Brisbane Valley is looking increasingly shaky with the company proposing the project facing a wind up action by a creditor.

Sydney-based town planning firm Ethos Urban has filed a suit in the NSW Supreme Court to wind up Sunshine Energy Australia, which is planning to build the farm on a 2055 hectare property along the D'Aguilar Highway near Kilcoy.

Ethos Urban had helped Sunshine Energy prepare its planning application to the Somerset Regional Council and also conducted community consultation with surrounding land owners.

The consultation did not go so well as the project has attracted the ire of local residents concerned their rural tranquility will be threatened by the solar farm.

There have been other controversies surrounding the project. In July, City Beat reported that the Hong Kong-based investors in the farm were belting it out in the Federal Court over an alleged wrongful transfer of shares to the director of the project.

In that case Chen Lu, one of the shareholders in a company called Eastern Union that ultimately owns the project, sued Sunshine Energy director Li Chi Man for alleged breach of his duties as a director. Last month, Federal Court judge Angus Steward ordered that Li transfer all the shares held by him in Sunshine Energy back to Eastern Union.

Neither Li or Ethos Urban were available to comment on the winding up application, which will be heard on November 11.