SolarReserve, an Australia-based leading global developer, owner and operator of utility-scale solar power projects, with more than $1.8 billion of projects in operation worldwide, has taken the next step in the development of the Aurora Solar Energy Project, north of Port Augusta, by signing a Heritage Agreement with the native title holders represented by the Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation. The agreement establishes a long-term relationship as part of the development, construction and operation of the Aurora Solar Energy Project.
“SolarReserve is excited to be working together with the Barngarla People to deliver our Aurora project with the least impact on Aboriginal heritage,” said Tom Georgis, SolarReserve’s Senior Vice President of Development. “We see this as the start of a strong ongoing partnership, which recognises the importance of Aboriginal heritage in developing large scale projects.”
SolarReserve respects and is committed to protecting Aboriginal heritage and tradition, entering into a Heritage Agreement to strengthen the relationship with the Barngarla community as they develop the Aurora project, respecting their links to country and heritage. As part of this relationship, SolarReserve and the Barngarla will work together to protect and preserve Aboriginal heritage through all phases of the Aurora project. SolarReserve will also incorporate cultural awareness training as part of the induction program for its contractors, subcontractors and employees.
The Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation Board are very supportive of the Aurora Solar Energy Project and working closely with SolarReserve to ensure the best possible outcomes for their culture and people. The project will bring clean renewable energy as well as jobs and other economic benefits to the community.
Jeanne Miller, a Port Augusta Barngarla woman who is part of the Barngarla heritage assessment team, expressed her satisfaction with working with SolarReserve to preserve Aboriginal heritage. “It is really encouraging to see how SolarReserve has respected our Aboriginal heritage. Barngarla take the protection of our heritage very seriously and it has been great to work with a company which respects our connection to the land. It has been a valuable experience to work alongside SolarReserve in the heritage assessment process, and we look forward to the successful completion of the Aurora Solar Energy Project for the benefit of the Barngarla People and the entire Port Augusta region as a whole.”
In addition to this agreement with the Barngarla, SolarReserve has started hiring for their headquarters in Adelaide and field office in Port Augusta, and has submitted its Development Application for the Aurora Solar Energy Project to the South Australian Government, which is currently under assessment.