The 95MW Tailem Bend Solar Project, owned by Vena Energy Australia and located in South Australia, is officially open.

The opening follows the $200 million project achieving “first generation” in February 2019, when the first batch of more than 390,000 photovoltaic solar panels were switched on as part of a staged testing and commissioning process.

Vena Energy Australia’s managing director, Anil Nangia, said achieving full commercial operation at the site and its connection to the national grid followed years of hard work.

“It is very satisfying that this has come together like we planned and it’s a great demonstration of what can be achieved after lots of hard work by our staff, landowners, consultants, contractors and regulators, including many local suppliers who have been with us from the start.”

A significant partnership for the project, that was formed quite early on, was with Snowy Hydro Limited who signed a 22-year offtake agreement for 100 per cent of the project’s energy output.

Snowy Hydro’s CEO, Paul Broad, said it was great to be working with Vena Energy Australia, and that Tailem Bend was the first solar project that the company contracted with.

“Through our retail energy brand in South Australia, Lumo Energy, we can supply solar energy to our customers right across the state.”

Member for Hammond, Adrian Pederick, said the project would help deliver affordable, reliable and cleaner energy to South Australian households and businesses.

“Tailem Bend is a great spot for this project and highlights the region’s natural advantages,” Mr Pederick said.

“I’ve certainly appreciated the extra jobs and money going into businesses near Tailem Bend.”

Tailem Bend joins Bungala Solar Farm near Port Augusta as the first large-scale solar projects to begin production in South Australia.

The project will deliver in the order of 200,000 MW hours of renewable energy per year, which is predicted to meet the annual needs of approximately 40,000 homes.

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