Solar Farm Project Update

An update on the proposed Berri Solar Farm was presented to Council’s Strategy, Assets and Major Projects Committee on 11th December 2018 which provided Elected Members with a review of the project and signalled intended activities planned for the New Year.

Document link to project update presentation

In particular it was an opportunity for newly elected Members to have a full briefing on the project in order they have the same level of knowledge and understanding as returning Elected Members. Council’s Manager Environmental Services Myles Somers provided information on the project including: a brief history of the project; outcomes of the recent expression of interest for design and construction;  progress update on review of Business Model and reaffirmation of the principles of prudency applying to the overall project. In addition Members were given information on anticipated next steps and timeframes.

The presentation did not reveal information related to final capital costs, power purchase agreement income or return on investment. It was explained to Elected Members that these figures are not currently available given outstanding SA Power Networks connection cost estimates which form a component of overall Solar Farm capital costs. It is expected that the final estimated capital costs will be available in the New Year and incorporated into a reviewed Business Model.

It is intended to present the reviewed Business Model to Council in the New Year. Subject to Council approval the project would then proceed to power purchase agreement execution and Request for Tender phase.  Should approvals be granted at these key milestones the project could be under construction mid 2019 and energised early 2020.

Throughout the project Council has abided by its requirement for prudency. It has and will continue to refer the project to its Audit Committee. In addition Council has engaged an Independent Auditor to review the Business Model and ensure its accuracy and adherence with the principles of prudency and public interests.

A copy of the Powerpoint presentation is available for viewing - Renewable Energy Solar Power Generation(882 kb)

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