$25 million Berri Solar Farm seeks development partners

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Berri Barmera Council has opened Expressions of Interest to development partners for the $25 million 10MW Berri Renewable Energy Solar Generation Facility in South Australia.

The project, to be built on Moritz Road, is a direct response to a localised need for affordable power to users with high load requirements to support business, local economic growth and stability of the Riverland region.

A Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) is being negotiated with a local large-load customer for purchase of power over 15 years at an agreed rate ensuring the project’s economic feasibility.

Berri Barmera Mayor, Peter Huant, said expressions of interest were officially open for the design, construction and operation of the 10MW solar farm as well as licensed energy retailers to purchase and on-sell generated power from the solar farm.

“Berri Barmera Council is committed to developing the Riverland region as a renewable energy leader through the delivery of a predictable and cost-effective renewable energy supply,” Mayor Hunt said.

“This project will be felt throughout the entire Riverland region providing immediate economic benefits through the creation of more than 100 full-time jobs through the construction phase and then of course the cost savings it will provide in the long term.”

The Berri Barmera Council received a grant of $5 million from the State Local Government Infrastructure Partnership (SLGIP), which was used to accelerate the project and ensure economic stimulus would result from the project for the broader region.

Berri Barmera Council CEO, Mr Stuyt, said volatility in electricity prices had impacted not only the Riverland, but every corner of South Australia in recent years.

“This project will obviously provide a plethora of benefits across our community. From the opportunity to address energy security and cost issues for major local business and employers, to generating long-term revenue and reducing pressure on Council’s long-term financial plan, this positive ripple effect will be widely felt,” Mr Stuyt said.

“Revenue will support the Council’s budget and reduce the need for increasing rates to fund services and infrastructure expected by the community. The revenue, which is guaranteed for the life of the PPA, also provides an alternative revenue stream to Council rates and better positions Council to respond to community needs and expectations.”

The successful registrant will be selected through a range of criteria including, but not limited to, past project experience, capacity, community economic benefit and value for money.

The project build is currently scheduled to occur between March and August 2019, subject to Council sign off and appropriate approvals.

Expression of Interest documents can be accessed by registering with South Australian Tenders and Contracts before Thursday, October 4, 2018 at www.tenders.sa.gov.au.

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