A renewable energy project that started as a way to provide extra income for grape and citrus growers has built its 50th small-scale solar farm in South Australia.

Renmark – based Yates Electrical Services began its Red Mud Green Energy project three years ago. So with the first 187 kW commercial farm joining the electricity grid in September 2016.

This renewable energy project recently built 2MW solar farm on 2.5 hectares near Port Pirie features 8000 solar panels.
This recently built 2MW solar farm on 2.5 hectares near Port Pirie features 8000 solar panels.

Since then, 50 farms have been built up to 1MW in size on sites ranging in area from 4000sq m (1 acre) to 2 hectares (5 acres). About 80 per cent of the renewable energy projects (farms) are in the Riverland. However plants have also been built in other parts of the state. That’s including Eyre Peninsula and the Mid North.

Yates Electrical Services Managing Director Mark Yates said the farms had delivered between 14 and 19 per cent return on investment. All for clients by selling the energy and the LGCs (large-scale generation certificates) on the National Electricity Market.

“The Red Mud side of things is still humming along – we’ve got about 10 sites under construction and that business is going strong.

The Riverland is about 250 km east of the South Australian capitol Adelaide. It also stretches for 120 km. All along the banks of Australia’s biggest river, the Murray.

Originally a citrus and stone fruit growing region, the Riverland turned to wine grapes in the 1980s and ‘90s. So and now it accounts for more than a quarter of Australia’s annual crush.

In addition, Yates Electrical Services last week won a Fast Movers SA Excellence in Business Award recognizing its growth. As well as their innovative strategies and market leadership.

The company has also recently formed a new entity, Green Gold Energy. So in a joint venture with Chinese-based Golden Investment Group to engineer, procure and construct small solar farms across South Australia.

Construction of the first Green Gold renewable energy project. It’s a 2 MW farm on 2.5ha (10 acres) near Port Pirie. It has just been completed.

Work is expected to begin in late June or early July on 4.95MW farms on 10 sites in Kadina and Port Pirie.

Yates said Green Gold Energy had an agreement with a …

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