Solar Power Generation Facility

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Recently there has been significant increases and volatility in power costs to key Riverland local businesses including those with high energy needs. Economic diversification and development in the Riverland is constrained by the cost and unreliability of power to grow existing business and attract new business. The proposed construction of the Berri Renewable Energy Solar Power Generation Facility is in response to a localized need for affordable power to users with high load requirements to support business, local economic growth and stability of the Riverland region.

The Berri Barmera Council has been offered a grant of $5,034,000 under the State Local Government Infrastructure Partnership (SLGIP). This grant will go towards a $25.17 million proposal to build a 10 megawatt solar generation facility to provide more stable supply and pricing of electricity to Local users.

In addition to the commitment from the SLGIP to fund 20% of the cost of this major project, Council will have access to a discounted loan rate over 10 years for borrowings required and negotiated through the Local Government Finance Authority.

The funding received will accelerate the project providing immediate economic stimulus through construction and job creation. It will create 132 full time jobs during construction and 3 full time positions during the operation of the plant.

As well as employment, other specific economic benefits include –

  • gross value added (labour, goods and materials sourced locally)
  • skills – providing skills for local workers providing foundation to support future solar projects in the region and state
  • long term economic growth strategy – contribute to diversifying the economy and build local skills
  • supply chain development – Australian manufacturing of tracker systems, power cables, switch gears and construction and installation of plants.

In addition to the above economic benefits noted above, the commercial viability of the project will benefit all ratepayers of the Berri Barmera Council by providing an alternative revenue source to council other than rate revenue or the reliance on grant funds from other tiers of government. An independent financial modelling process has been completed and confirms the solar farm’s viability.

Solar Project Updates

News Items relating to the Solar Power Facility Project

Solar Farm Project to be Sold

26 July 2019
Council will not be proceeding with the development itself but will look to sell the project to renewable energy generation developers.
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Solar Farm Project Information

9 January 2019
Audit Committee consideration of the Solar Farm Project
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Solar Farm Project Update

14 December 2018
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.
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27 August 2018
Expressions of Interest to development partners for the transformative $25 million 10 megawatt (MW) Berri Renewable Energy Solar Generation Facility are now open.
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