Adani receives approval for solar plant at Whyalla

27 September

Diversified infrastructure company, Adani, has received planning consent for its $200 million solar energy farm just outside Whyalla.

The plant will generate 100MW, with potential capacity of up to 140MW, making it one of the larger solar farms in South Australia. Construction is planned to commence in 2018 with operation potentially from early 2019, subject to the outcome of ongoing commercial discussions.

Adani, the largest solar energy generator in India, is planning a number of solar projects in Australia with a total capacity of 1,500MW within the next five years.

Chief Executive Officer of Adani Australia Renewable Energy, Jennifer Purdie, said the workforce on the Whyalla solar project would peak at 150 employees during construction, with up to five full time operation staff.

“Opportunities exist for South Australia based electricians, technicians, engineers, and project managers,” Dr Purdie said. “In addition to those jobs for locals, the indirect employment benefits will flow from Adani’s policy to buy from local suppliers first.”

Dr Purdie said it was proposed that the solar farm would inject its power into the 132kv network between the Whyalla Central and Cultana substations.

“The Whyalla Solar Farm provides an opportunity to diversify the local economy, as well as provide the potential for community members and industry to gain new skills in a growth industry. In addition, the project will provide the region with an environmentally sustainable power plant that will help to reinforce the local supply.”

Dr Purdie said the support provided by Investment Attraction South Australia throughout this process had helped Adani navigate through government approvals more quickly.

Whyalla Mayor Lyn Breuer said she was “very pleased at prospect of Adani coming here”.

“This would build on other potential projects planned for here,” Mayor Breuer said.

“We would welcome Adani, the jobs it will create and the opportunity to strengthen our economy.”

South Australian Member for Giles Eddie Hughes thanked Adani for their planned investment and said the project aligned with the objectives of the State Government’s Energy Plan in making the State’s energy grid more secure.

“With our abundant renewable energy resource and commitment to a low carbon economy, South Australia has positioned itself as a world-leader in renewable energy technology,” Mr Hughes said.

“Adani is the latest in a long line of high-profile companies to invest in South Australia’s renewables sector, and importantly they are creating new jobs for future generations of South Australians.

“South Australia’s Upper Spencer Gulf in particular is quickly becoming a renewable energy hub with SolarReserve building a ground-breaking solar thermal project at Port Augusta.

“Adani’s expansion into this State also complements our South Australia – India Engagement Strategy, which aims to grow strategic partnerships and enhance longterm economic ties with India.”

The project will also help Adani realise its ambition to become the world’s largest renewable energy generator with more than 10,000MW globally by 2022.