Veolia scraps plans for South Australian solar farm


French resource management and energy services company Veolia has terminated plans to build a renewable energy hub, featuring a utility scale solar PV farm and battery energy storage system, in Adelaide’s north, citing ‘unforeseen changes to market conditions’.

Veolia had planned to build a grid-scale solar PV farm and energy-from-waste facility at Gillman in north-western Adelaide after striking a $7 million deal with the South Australian government in 2017 to develop about 200 hectares of state-owned land in the industrial suburb.

Veolia’s plans for the site included a solar farm capable of generating 75 MW to 100 MW of power backed up by battery storage. The energy generated by the solar farm was to be dispatched to tenants in the proposed industrial park through a microgrid with any excess exported to the state network.

The agreement with the government became active in June 2018 after Veolia purchased approximately 20 hectares of the Gillman land but a company spokesperson confirmed on Thursday it had scrapped the project.

“In light of global events and unforeseen changes to market conditions, Veolia has come to an agreement with the South Australian government to exit from the Gillman project,” the  spokesperson said in a written statement.

“In doing so, the government will be able to move forward with alternative options to maximise the land’s potential through reuse, something we fully endorse and support.”

Government development agency Renewal SA said Veolia had not met the milestones set out in the agreement with the state government and had elected to not take up its option to continue with the project.

Renewals SA project delivery and property general manager Todd Perry said both parties had agreed to terminate the existing project agreements, enabling the government to pursue new options for the land’s use.

‘We are disappointed that Veolia’s development at Gillman will not proceed,” he said

“This land has long been identified as being of economic importance to the state due to its size and location, and Veolia’s departure will delay progress towards the achievement of potential employment generating activities.

“Renewal SA is now reviewing the development strategy and desired outcomes for this site to ensure this immensely strategic and important state landholding can be utilised to drive economic growth into the future.”


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