Berri solar farm

Article image - Berri solar farm Berri Barmera Mayor Peter Hunt. Photo by Will Slee.

Berri Barmera Council, South Australia, is planning a $25 million, 10 megawatt (MW), Renewable Energy Solar Generation Facility.

The project 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 Hunt, said expressions of interest were officially open for the design, construction and operation of the 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.

“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, Chief Executive Officer, Mr Stuyt said, “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.

“Revenue will support Council’s budget and reduce the need for increasing rates to fund services and infrastructure expected by the community.”