100-megawatt solar farm at Tailem Bend

File photo.
File photo.

A $200 million solar power plant will be established at Tailem Bend following a Power Purchase Agreement between Asian independent renewable energy developer and investor Equis and Australian company Snowy Hydro Limited.

The project will see the development of a 100-megawatt utility scale solar photovoltaic plant which will supply power equivalent to the annual needs of 39,000 homes. 

An area on the site will also be reserved for a potential 100-megawatt battery storage unit which would increase stability of the power supply.

It will be constructed alongside a 28-megawatt diesel-fired power station south-east of the town at a Lime Kiln Road property already owned by Snowy Hydro Limited.

Currently, the project is at the development approval stage.

Pending approval, construction is expected to commence early this year, it is anticipated that the construction period will take about 66 weeks and the plant should be up and running in mid 2018.

Equis Group Chief Executive Officer David Russell said the Tailem Bend Solar Project represents an exciting expansion into Australia for Equis and a unique opportunity to leverage the company’s development and construction expertise to deliver low cost, large scale, reliable renewable energy for Australian consumers.

“By developing the Tailem Bend Solar Project and Snowy Hydro diesel projects together, the combined system will have the capability of providing stable power any time of the day across the entire year.”

“In addition, the Tailem Bend Solar Project has been developed to facilitate large scale battery storage further enhancing the base load like nature of the projects,” Mr Russell said.

It is expected to make a positive economic contribution to local, regional and national economies. 

Coorong District Council Chief Executive Officer Vincent Cammell said the solar development is expected to boost employment in the region.

“Employment throughout the construction is expected to be about 200 people over 12-18 months,” he said.

He said there should be about 3-5 permanent jobs plus various contract jobs once the construction is completed.

The development is expected to add pressure to Tailem Bend’s accommodation facilities as well as Murray Bridge’s, increasing rental income during the construction period.