New privately owned power stations for NT
A LANDMARK new privately-owned gas-fired power plant and solar farm project in the Top End that will create more than 100 jobs and ultimately lower power prices, has been approved for a multimillion-dollar federal government loan.
Melbourne-based company Merricks Capital Ltd has already started constructing a combined $75m 12-megawatt gas-fired power plant at Hudson Creek and a 10-megawatt solar farm with battery storage at Batchelor.
The dual power projects will be the NT's first privately owned and operated generators.
In conjunction with the NT's only privately-run electricity retailer Rimfire Energy, the gas and solar project combination will have the capacity to provide Darwin with nearly 10 per cent of its power needs.
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The NT News can reveal the federal government will today announce that Merricks Capital has been awarded a $37m Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility loan.
Federal Resources Minister Keith Pitt said the project would create about 160 new jobs during the construction phase.
Under the NAIF funding agreement Merricks Capital has also been tasked with working with the Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation to "deliver a range of initiatives including cross-culture awareness training to employees and contractors".
Merricks Capital chief executive Adrian Redlich said the project was three years in the making and the company had settled purchase of the land, which Land Development Corp sold to it, in May and construction began around June.
Mr Redlich said the gas and solar project would be considered "stage 1" of the company's definite two part with potential to expand further plan to shake up the Territory's electricity market.
The gas power plant is expected to be online by May 2021, while the solar farm will be feeding electricity into the grid by December this year.
Originally published as First non-govt owned and operated power stations in the NT to be built