Construction of the Katherine Solar Farm has been delayed once again.
Despite hopes the site would be in the development stage by October last year, it has been postponed until the first quarter of this year.
Martin Poole the executive director of Epuron, the Sydney-based company jointly developing the solar farm, said he was still expecting construction would start soon.
“There is a lot of activity that goes on behind the scenes before construction can start,” he said.
“If it is all ready however, and it starts to rain, it might be put off to the dry season.”
Since it was first announced Katherine would soon be the home of the biggest solar project in the NT, information about funding has been vague.
Mr Poole said that while funding had been secured for the project, no further details could be supplied at this time.
“There is no government money involved, it is all private money,” Mr Poole said.
“The funding is there and we will be able to disclose where it is coming from when construction starts.”
On Tuesday, the NT Government re-announced the $40 million Katherine project would “catapult the share of renewable energy use in the NT’s major centres from the current 3 per cent to 10 per cent,” with no real new development or news of funding.
It was also announced Australian renewables developer Tetris Energy will soon advance to construction on two new 10MW solar farms at Batchelor and Manton Dam.
“We don’t have a set date for construction,” director of Tetris Energy, Frank Boland said, “but we are aiming for the start of the dry season.”
Mr Boland said funding will be “finalised before construction starts, now the off-take has been confirmed.”
The NT Government said the projects are expected to generate enough energy to power 5000 homes when completed in the second half of 2019, and will support up to 70 local jobs through the construction phase.
Jacana Energy and NT Solar Investments have entered into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the electricity and renewable energy certificates generated by the two farms at Batchelor and Manton Dam.
“Tetris Energy welcomes the opportunity to enter into the Power Purchase Agreement to sell electricity to Jacana Energy from the Manton Dam and Batchelor Solar Farms,” Mr Boland said.
“This will be an important enabler in moving towards construction at the end of the wet season.”
In October of last year, the NT Government consented to Jacana Energy entering into a long term power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Katherine solar farm as well.
The solar farm will be situated alongside the Stuart Highway, about five kilometres north-west of the township.
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