Amp Power Australia, the Australian operating arm of Toronto-based clean energy developer Amp Energy, has signed a lease agreement with the Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation to develop its 388 MW Yoorndoo Ilga solar farm and hybridised 150 MW battery in Whyalla, South Australia.
The Yoorndoo Ilga Solar farm is one of three sites comprising Amp’s 1.3 GW Renewable Energy Hub of South Australia, which will also include solar farms coupled with storage in Robertstown (636 MW) and Bungama (336 MW). Amp has set out an investment in excess of $2 billion for the hub’s creation, which is planned to also generate hydrogen for both the domestic and export markets in future.
Following the recognition of the Barngarla People as native title holders of large parts of the Upper Spencer Gulf and Eyre Peninsula, the land will be leased to Amp and project developer EPS Energy in accordance with the terms of an Indigenous Land Use Agreement.
With land secured, once development and other approvals are completed, Amp says its Yoorndoo Ilga solar farm will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 100,000 homes each year, with a total investment in the Whyalla region exceeding $500 million.
The Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation’s (BDAC) board is supportive of the land deal, saying they are “proud to be part of the renewable energy revolution”.
“This is a history making deal and we look forward to Amp developing these projects on our traditional lands, which we now own in fee simple. We look forward to the benefits of this project to our members and to the broader community of Whyalla overall,” the BDAC said in a statement.
Amp has already secured development and land approvals for both the Robertstown and Bungama projects, and setting an energisation date in late 2022. With land secured for its third and final hub project, the company’s expansion into Australia which began in 2017 is now well and truly underway.
Amp’s currently has 158 MW of operating or under construction solar assets in NSW, including the 39 MW Molong Solar Farm near Orange. Its South Australian hub will significantly increase the company’s presence here, which it clearly sees as a strategic location for investment.
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