Bungala Solar Project to bring jobs to Port Augusta

SOLAR: The 70MW solar farm in Northern NSW, a similar, but smaller proposed project than the Bungala Solar Project.
SOLAR: The 70MW solar farm in Northern NSW, a similar, but smaller proposed project than the Bungala Solar Project.

Port Augusta will be home to Australia’s biggest and the world’s 13th largest solar panel farm, according to Reach Solar Energy (RSE) CEO Tony Concannon.

Mr Concannon said during the construction phase of the proposed recently approved project, between 350-450 jobs will be created, stating RSE is ‘looking to recruit locally where they can’.

RSE has also held talks with the Bungala Aboriginal Corporation (BAC) about working with Aboriginal employment groups where possible.

RSE’s proposed Bungala Solar Project was officially sent to the state Development  Assessment Commission in September 2016, and was open to public notifications from October 20 to November 16.

The 800 hectare proposal is situated seven kilometres north-east of Port Augusta on land owned by the BAC.

The proposal currently aims to create 220 Megawatts in two 110MW stages, enough energy to power around 110,000 homes in South Australia and has a 30 year life span.

Stage 1 will be expected to be completed within 5 years from development approval and Stage 2 will be completed within 15 years of approval.

However RSE’s 2016 application was for 300MW, leaving the project to create 80MW more which could mean the project powers around 140,000 homes.

RSE has registered as an intending participant in the National Electricity Market and if the project is approved, it will be part of powering homes throughout the state and Australia.

The project has made a provision for the future inclusion of a utility-scale energy storage facility through the allocation of sufficient land area and appropriately located connection points.