Representatives of the Broken Hill Solar Plant project have maintained that it will be finalised at the end of this year. The $200 million initiative is located on a 140 hectare plot, making it the second biggest project of its kind to be found within Australia. The Broken Hill sister project is located in Nyngan whereby construction already began during October 2014.
Broken Hill 2nd biggest project of its kind in Australia
Adam Mackett, AGL project manager, has stated that the aim was to employ up to 150 people during the peak phase of construction, whereby 60% of which are locals. As Broken Hill has a mining background, most locals are very adept in working with the strenuous demands often placed on their shoulders when constructing such a huge solar power plant. Quite a bit of experience was drawn from these employees which has fast tracked the Broken Hill project to a certain degree.
“With civil works, which have broadly finished now we found there was a lot of good capability in Broken Hill to deliver the project,” he said.
There is still demand for between 80-90 employees that have experience within the electrical industry. Of the 80 electrical employees, 60% are also locals.
$200M initiative set to boost local employment within Broken Hill
AGL needed to change their tactics in order to better engage the community residents who at first had little to no interest in learning or aiding the project due to the fact that a Community Consultative Forum was put together. The forum was placed in order to allow residents a platform to have their say regarding the project. The setting was quite informal in a sense to allow for a better and broader appeal.
“With Broken Hill which is much more familiar with large infrastructure projects, we found the committee was maybe one of those things that perhaps was potentially scaring some people off a little bit,” stated Mackett.
As such, AGL then decided to move away from such a platform and instead called the meetings a community information session. The strategic move got rid of the stigma attached to the committee in the first place and aided in encouraging interested residents to attend the Broken Hill project sessions.
Photo courtesy of Eugene Regis on Flickr