Sydney, Nov 25 : Indian energy giant Adani group will begin construction of two new Australian solar plants next year, it said on Friday.
Adani said one of Australia’s largest solar farms generating between 120 and 150 megawatts of energy will be built in the country’s steel town of Whyalla in South Australia, Xinhua news agency reported.
The company will also build a 100-200 megawatt solar plant in the former coal town of Moranbah in Queensland State.
“We have promoted Whyalla as a perfect location for solar energy production,” Eddie Hughes, South Australian parliamentary representative for Giles — which includes Whyalla — said in a statement.
“We have sun, land, a skilled workforce and a supportive community.”
The solar push comes as Adani continues to fight legal battles against its beleaguered 21 billion Australian dollars ($15.60 billion) Carmichael coal project in Queensland State’s Galilee basin.
The Queensland Supreme Court on Friday dismissed an environmental activist challenge against the grant of its mining lease, finding there was no breach in the Environmental Protection Act in the regulatory approvals process.
Adani welcomed the decision as a further positive step towards starting major works at the site in the third quarter 2017.
The project has been plagued by delays as environmental activists challenge the mine’s approval in the courts, all finding in favour of Adani.
The activists said the approvals process fails to take into consideration the impact the mine will have on carbon emissions in other jurisdictions and its impact on climate change.
But Adani has said the project will supply higher quality coal for an increased demand in thermal coal, in conjunction with increased solar demand in a growing Indian economy that will lift hundreds of millions of people out of energy poverty.
The Queensland State government in October enacted special powers to fast track the remaining state-based approvals.