The $200 million proposal for a 100MW solar energy farm outside Whyalla has received planning consent, making it one of the largest solar farms in South Australia.
Infrastructure company Adani is in charge of the project that will include the construction of a plant that will generate 100MW, with potential capacity of up to 140MW.
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.
Adani has undertaken stakeholder engagement to understand and work with expectations regarding the project.
“This was a very positive process for us and, I believe, all stakeholders,” Dr Purdie said.
“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.”