Plans have been hatched for a $10 million solar panel project near Port Pirie.
Up to 50 jobs would be created in construction of the solar photo-voltaic generator at a site in Abattoirs Road, south of the city.
The building work for energy company Renew Power Group is expected to begin about June and continue for about 16 weeks.
Director of the company Kevin Heydt said the project was “under development with key milestones, which would allow construction to begin, expected to be achieved soon”.
“We are working through the development approval process. We are collaborating with SA Power Networks on the grid connection,” he said.
“We are confident it will be up and running this year.”
He said the array would cover 15 hectares and produce more than 10,000 megawatt hours yearly.
He said the nameplate capacity of the proposed plant would be five megawatts.
As the plant has been designed with a tracking system, peak output will be achieved for a major portion of the day as opposed to a solar-panel on a roof which might peak in the middle of the day.
“The energy produced by the plant will be sold on a merchant basis into the spot electricity market,” Mr Heydt said.
“But we are certainly interested in selling the power to a local South Australian company such as the smelter.
“Renew Power Group would welcome companies that are interested in buying the power directly from the plant to reach out to us.”
He said crews would visit the site once it was operating to clean the solar panels, maintain the equipment and ensure the safe generation of power.
The site is on the corner of Abattoirs Road and Pirie Blocks Road.