Energy giant Adani Group has struck land deals in Australia to build two solar plants collectively valued at $300 million in a bid to develop 1,500 MW renewable capacity in five years, even as a court dismissed appeals against its $16 billion coal and mine project.
The contraction of $200 million ($150 million approximately) each solar plants in south Australia's Whyalla region and in Moranbah in the east of Australia will begin late next year, the company said.
The Whyalla project is to be completed in an year and is expected to create 350 jobs. It will involve a 120 MW solar generation plant, with potential capacity of up to 150MW, which would make it one of the largest solar farms in Australia.
The company said it has secured a land deal with Whyalla city council for the project.
Adani aims to develop renewable energy projects in Australia with a capacity of 1,500 MW in the next five years.
Its CEO of Australian operations, Jeyakumar Janakaraj, said Adani looked forward to working with the Whyalla community to enhance the South Australian renewable energy industry.
"This is great news for Whyalla. For many years we have promoted Whyalla as a perfect location for solar energy production. We have sun, land, a skilled workforce and a supportive community. Those attributes have attracted the interest of Adani," said Giles lawmaker Eddie Hughes.
"Construction of the plant will provide a boost to employment and it will provide one element in what is shaping up to be a much brighter future next year," he said.
Whyalla Mayor Lyn Breuer said the council looked forward to the economic benefits the project would bring. "Whyalla City Council strongly supports renewable projects, and we believe Adani's solar generator project will bring major benefits to the City of Whyalla and the region as a whole." Adani said the solar projects will be in addition to its investment in the planned Carmichael coal mine in Queensland's Galilee Basin and rail and port facilities.
The Australian Supreme Court today dismissed appeals lodged by the Indigenous community member Adrian Burragubba as well as Brisbane-based environmental group Coast and Country against the company's AUD 21 billion ($16 billion) coal and mine project.
Justice John Bond dismissed the group's challenge to the environmental approval and Adrian Burragubba's challenge to a Native Title Tribunal's decision regarding the mine.
In a statement issued here, Adani Group welcomed the court decisions and said the decisions were "further positive steps towards starting work in the September Quarter 2017 on the Carmichael Mine in central western Queensland and associated projects."