Case Study - Renewable Energy

Client: Elecnor Australia
Project: New England Solar Farm
Construction Cost: $5,971,000 over 3 years
Status: Stage 1 completed November 2023

At A Glance

Elecnor Australia was awarded the engineering, procurement, and construction contract for Stage 1 of the New England Solar Farm in late 2020. This project will ultimately see a 720-megawatt solar farm across two separate solar fields near Uralla in the NSW New England region. Rows of solar photovoltaic panels will be installed on a single axis tracking system that follows the path of the sun while allowing adequate space for sheep to continue grazing on the land immediately around the panels.

New England Solar Farm will be built on a 2000 hectare site consisting of mostly cleared grazing land. The site is traversed by an existing 330kV power line owned and operated by transmission provider, TransGrid which means the solar farm can be efficiently connected to the electricity grid in NSW.

Once complete, the solar farm will produce 1,800,000 megawatt hours of electricity each year (enough to power more than 250,000 typical NSW homes) and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 1.5 million tonnes of C02 each year which is the equivalent to taking 330,000 cars off the road.


Construction on the first stage of the first site was scheduled to commence in early 2021 however, the lead contractor, Elecnor Australia had no previous experience working in regional NSW and was sceptical that city-based staffing businesses could meet their requirements. They needed people who were available at short notice, had solid work experience (ideally in the green energy sector) and lived close to the work site or were prepared to move there.

After initially appointing a ‘brand name provider’ to find staff to commence some of the preliminary works, Elecnor were unhappy with the reliability of the workforce and the attitude of the supplier. Thankfully, senior staff from Macquarie Labour Hire had been visiting the site and had stayed in touch with the onsite management team. We were asked to submit a proposal which we had to them the very next day.

After speaking with several different contract labour providers, Elecnor appointed Macquarie Labour Hire as its preferred provider of labour hire and recruitment services for the project and we were able to have staff fully inducted and ready to go with PPE only a few short days later.


Macquarie Labour Hire was the primary supplier of contingent labour to Elecnor Australia for over two and half years to November 2023. Over the course of the project, Macquarie Labour Hire supplied over 100 staff for the project. Up to 65 casual staff worked on site each day completing a wide range of both ‘blue collar’ and office-based roles, including:

  • Civil Labourers
  • Logistics (Telehandlers, Forklift, EWP)
  • Plant Operators
  • Truck Drivers
  • Electrical Trades
  • Civil Engineers
  • Supervisors
  • Traffic Controllers
  • Finance
  • Project Administration

Macquarie Labour Hire sourced predominantly local candidates and brought candidates onto the project from other areas of NSW and southern Queensland as needed.


Elecnor described Macquarie Labour Hire as an extremely attentive supplier. Other words used to describe our account management were reliable and flexible. They were impressed with the hands-on approach we take with our workers to ensure they turn up on time, every time and take pride in their work.

Over the 30 months we had people on site, the performance of our workforce remained consistent. All stakeholders were acutely aware of meeting deadlines whilst never compromising the safety or well-being of anyone working on site.

Based on their experience at the New England Solar farm, Elecnor said they would relish the opportunity to work with Macquarie Labour Hire again if the opportunity presents itself.

Client Testimonial

“We engaged Macquarie Labour Hire to be our contract labour supplier on our New England Solar Farm construction project. Nicole was extremely professional from the very first meeting through to the last day on site and managed their workforce very well.
Being a tight labour market coming out of Covid19, the team at Macquarie Labour Hire did an excellent job of finding reliable people with the right skills. They worked hard to ensure we always had the right people on the job at the right time.
I’d have absolutely no hesitation in recommending them to any contractors working in the infrastructure and construction sector, especially anyone in regional areas which often have special challenges.”

John Hunter, Site Manager – New England Solar Farm