Ahmedabad: Gautam Adani-led Adani Enterprises plans to develop 1,000 MW of solar power capacity in Australia over the next five years, the company said in a stock exchange statement on Friday.
The announcement came on a day the apex court in Australia’s Queensland state dismissed appeals by some environmental groups against granting of mining lease and environmental clearance to Adani Enterprises’ $7 billion coal mine project. The project has faced delays in execution because of lawsuits by environmental groups.
Welcoming the court’s decision, a company spokesperson said the ruling would pave the way towards starting work in 2017 on the Carmichael mine and associated projects, which include a railway line and expansion of port activities at Abbott Point.
The company, in its stock exchange filing on Friday, also said it had reached an agreement with The Whyalla City Council in South Australia to develop a $200 million solar generation project in the northern part of Whyalla.
The project would involve a 100MW solar generation plant, with potential capacity of up to 150MW, which would make it one of the largest in Australia on one site, it said.
The solar projects are in addition to Adani’s $16.5 billion investment in the planned Carmichael coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin as well as rail and port facilities, it said.
Construction of the Whyalla solar project is due to start mid-2017 and be completed in around 12 months. The workforce will peak at 350 employees, with full-time operational staff to number up to five. A land purchase agreement has been signed with the council for the site, which is in an industrial land estate.
Adani currently has solar generation projects in India planned or operational totalling more than 1,400MW, including one of the world’s largest solar plants in Tamil Nadu which has a capacity of 650MW.
The CEO of the company’s Australian operations, Jeyakumar Janakaraj, said Australia presented enormous solar opportunities in Australia were enormous because it had the highest solar radiation per square metre of any continent in the world.
“Coupled with the company’s $3.3 billion dollars of investment to date across its mine, rail and port projects in Queensland, Adani’s plans to pursue solar investment opportunities reflect the confidence the company has in the Australian market,” Janakaraj said.