Solar Farm Project to be Sold

Council will not be proceeding with the development itself but will look to sell the project to renewable energy generation developers.

Media Release

Wednesday 24 July 2019

Berri Barmera Council Solar Farm Project to be Sold

Berri Barmera Council has resolved to seek expressions of interest for the rights to develop the proposed 10 MW Solar Farm on Morritz Road at Berri. This effectively means that Council will not proceed with developing the facility itself and will look to sell the project to renewable energy generation developers.  The project has development approval for construction on the former Berri Racecourse site and connection into the SA Power Networks grid through Berri Substation, one km from the site. State Government funding of $5m had been secured for the project, with return of unspent funds to be negotiated. .

Council’s decision to no longer pursue the development of the Solar Farm directly came after Accolade Wines advised that it was not in a position to commit further to the project. The project has been progressed to a ‘shovel ready’ stage and as such could be built by another developer with minimal delay using the designs, approvals and grid connection agreement. Council considered other options such as allowing further time for Accolade Wines to consider the proposal again at a future date or alternatively, Council developing the Solar Farm and retailing energy to the wholesale market. Council deemed both alternative options inappropriate given community interests and original funding arrangements, which would not support either option.

Mayor Peter Hunt said “despite putting in our best effort to deliver a great project for Council, Accolade Wines and the Community, the timing and justification to continue with the project was simply not right in the end. Accolade Wines was bought by new owners in 2018 and in terms of energy procurement and use, they are considering a number of options. We needed an answer and in this case they made it clear that they could not commit further to the project. The upside is we have fielded several enquiries to buy the project including lease rights to the old Racecourse site. We have expert advice that the project has strong commercial value and that is why we have decided to call for expressions of interest from parties seeking to buy the intellectual property and development rights.”

The Expressions of Interest for purchase of the project is timed for release in late August subject to arrangements being put in place.

Any interested parties are welcome to contact Council’s Manager Environmental Services / Major Projects Myles Somers on 08 8582 1922 to discuss being involved in this opportunity.      

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