SSE and the project partners have found great benefits with employing local contractors. Not only does it support the local community, locals are also a useful source of knowledge regarding the terrain and geology of the area.
Whyalla is a very remote area so having local people working with us is beneficial in that they are able to help us navigate any issues. When we came across rocks when we were digging, we worked with the contractors to overcome the issue.
The community of Whyalla strongly supports renewable energy and welcomes the Whyalla Solar Farm project. Member for Giles Eddie Hughes notes that:
“Whyalla first put its hand up to be a solar capital back in the 1998 so it has been a long journey.”
Mayor Lyn Brauer is excited about the positive potential for SSE’s project for the Whyalla community. She notes that while steel is still a vital industry for the region, solar is a new industry with great potential. She explains that the project will provide jobs and
“the construction will create work and the solar farm will bring tourists to this area, people will be coming here to see what we have on offer”
SSE and the project partners have made an effort to build a mutually beneficial relationship with the local community, as they understand the importance of its support throughout the project. Local sporting clubs allowed the project to dispose of some of the clean soil on their land which they used to even it out. As an added gesture of goodwill, the project also gave a cash donation to the clubs.
The local speedway needed soil to fill in holes so the project delivered about 40 truckloads to them and also gave a donation to go toward the ongoing maintenance of the club.
SSE and the project will actively seek out ways to make other contributions to the local community.