South Australia-based renewables developer, Green Gold Energy, has revealed plans to develop two new major new solar farms in that state, a 185MW project in the south-eastern town of Australia Plains and a 120MW project in nearby Morgan.
Green Gold said earlier this month that it had been developing the early stages of the project over the past 18 months, alongside investors including Golden Invest, Edel New Energy, and Astronergy, or Chint Solar. Consultations with the local communities were held in August.
The company says the sites for the two projects, which are spaced around 50km apart, were acquired in the third quarter of 2018 and the development application process started shortly thereafter, in November of 2018.
All going well with government and network approval, GGE says the prospective projects are scheduled to begin construction in the third quarter of 2021, to be completed in 2022, and implemented in 2023.
“Presently, the pandemic is still severe, which has had a negative impact on the global economy,” the company said in a statement. “However, these new projects will create approximately 600 jobs, including 20 long-term positions that will last for 30+ years. These projects promote local employment opportunities and boost local economy.”
Chint New Energy has been named as the EPC partner of the projects, and GGE says local workers and suppliers will be prioritised for project construction.
Green Gold has previously specialised in much smaller projects, developing more than 150MW of 5MW solar farms in mostly South Australia, 90MW of which has been granted approval and 50MW of which is either under construction or energised.
“By virtue of its endeavours, Green Gold Energy has successfully established itself as a professional and experienced solar farm company with rapid business growth with at least 80MW successful development annually,” the company said.
GGE also said in the statement that the larger projects had attracted the attention of “many fund companies and energy companies” which had expressed interest in acquisition.
On the grid, the Australia Plains plant sits near to South Australia’s Robertstown substation, while the Morgan project will connect to the North West Bend substation, providing electricity for both South Australia and Victoria.
Additionally, a new 330kV, over 900km overhead transmission line with approximately 800MW transfer capacity has been approved by AER, connecting the Robertstown substation to the Wagga substation in New South Wales, with an added connection to north-west Victoria.
The company said that it had received notice in the second quarter of this year from S.A. network owner ElectraNet and the Australian Energy Market Operator that the projects were undergoing the in Generator Performance Studies (GPS) process.
“The [community] … events hosted by Green Gold Energy … were hugely successful,” the GGE said. “The strong support of local community, the smooth development of the project, has played a positive role in stabilising electricity prices and making up for the electricity gap.
“The Australia Plains and Morgan projects will be the milestone achievements in the development of solar energy within South Australia.”