Port Augusta Mayor welcomes solar jobs

JOBS: Port Augusta Mayor Sam Johnson has welcomed new jobs.

JOBS: Port Augusta Mayor Sam Johnson has welcomed new jobs.

The announcement by Reach Solar Energy confirming construction of its 300MW solar PV Bungala Solar Project in Port Augusta has been welcomed by Mayor Sam Johnson and Port Augusta City Council.

Reach achieved financial close this week for its Bungala project with detailed design and preliminary site works to start immediately.

Throughout construction, up to 350 jobs will be created with the first phase of the project expected to be fully operational by September 2018.

It will generate up to 220 Megawatts, enough power for 130,000 homes.

Mayor Sam Johnson said Council has been working with Reach to secure the project for Port Augusta and retain electricity generation as an industry for Port Augusta.

“We have a proud history in electricity generation and we are working hard to retain that. The future now clearly lies in renewable energy production and Reach is the first company that will deliver a project for Port Augusta,” he said.

“Our vision is for Port Augusta to be the renewable energy capital of Australia and the confidence Reach has shown in our City strengthens our resolve to achieve this title.”

And with other potential projects in the pipeline, Mayor Johnson is confident it will be the first of a number of a renewable energy projects that will maximise on Port Augusta’s potential with aces to connect to the grid and more than 300 days of sunshine a year.

Mayor Johnson said Reach has been able to finance the project from private investors and this highlights that private industry will be leaders in the transition to renewable energy production.

“We commend Reach for their vision and determination in bringing this project to fruition and we thank them for believing in our region and investing in the Bungala Project,” he said.

And with hundreds of jobs in the construction phase Mayor Johnson said this is great news for small business, accommodation providers and local employment.

“We know the economic impacts are going to be significant in the medium term and we welcome the employment that brings for our City.”