The Tailem Bend Solar Project (Stage One) is located near Tailem Bend, 100km south-east of Adelaide in South Australia. The project, which consists of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, has a generation capacity of 95 megawatts (MWac) and will supply power equivalent to the annual needs of 40,000 homes.
Construction commenced in April 2018 and the $200 million project began delivering power to the grid in February 2019. Vena Energy Australia has signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Snowy Hydro under which Snowy Hydro will purchase 100% of the power from Tailem Bend Solar Project for at least 22 years. Tailem Bend Solar Project connects to the National Electricity Market via ElectraNet’s Tailem Bend Substation.
With a construction budget of $200 million, the project will make a positive economic contribution to local, regional and national economies. Vena Energy Australia supports a local procurement policy and promotes participation from local, regional and Australian suppliers wherever possible.
The construction workforce peaked at 250 people and comprised 40% of staff from the local area and 85% of total staff were from the wider region. Vena Energy Australia promotes diversity and inclusion as key project drivers and nearly 10% of the construction staff identified as Aboriginal. Three full-time local employees have been employed to operate and maintain the plant and further staff or contractors will be required periodically to clean the solar panels, undertake environmental maintenance, electrical works, fire management and site security.
The solar project will insulate the regional electricity market from fluctuations in fuel prices by increasing the diversity of the energy system. The project will produce clean energy and have no greenhouse gas emissions.