First community sessions for $1b Riverland Solar Storage

The first formal community information sessions for the world’s biggest large-scale solar and battery storage plant will be held this week.

The $1 billion Riverland Solar Storage plant is expected to be built by the end of the year in South Australia’s Riverland district.

On March 30, Lyon Group announced it was constructing the 330MW solar generation and 100MW battery storage system.

It will be the biggest solar farm in the country, with 3.4 million solar panels and 1.1 million batteries.

Lyon Group partner David Green said that genuine and early community engagement was vital.

“We’ve been talking to many stakeholders in the Morgan area since before the project announcement,” he said.

“These formal community information sessions will help affected local people to understand project benefits, opportunities and impacts, and just as importantly they will help Lyon to understand local concerns.”

The sessions are being hosted by Mid Murray Council, and will include presentations from council’s Mayor and CEO, Lyon, its contractor Downer, Regional Development Australia and the Morgan and Districts Community Hub.

Mr Green said Lyon was committed to working cooperatively with the local community and would continue to work closely with the Mid Murray Council to identify opportunities for local engagement and employment during the construction and operation of the project.

Services and equipment that could be sourced locally include site preparation services, access road preparation, structure assembly, electrical services, panel installation, and accommodation.

The project is expected to employ 270 workers, with construction expected to commence in coming months.

Mr Green said South Australian energy consumers would benefit from the introduction of battery storage, through downward pressure on wholesale power prices and a more stable system.

“Large-scale renewables and large-scale battery technology will play a central role in keeping our electricity system stable, reducing prices, and reducing emissions,” he said.

The South Australian Government’s battery tender process is still underway and the outcome of that process will not determine whether Lyon’s projects are built. However, it will influence whether final storage configuration optimises grid security rather than maximising capture of trading revenue.

The community information sessions will be held in Morgan today.