Two new massive solar and battery storage projects have been proposed for South Australia, continuing the momentum of new investments that will likely see the state produce the equivalent of 100% of its electricity needs through wind and solar energy since 2025.
One of the new projects – a $ 1.2 billion proposal for 500MW of photovoltaic solar energy to be accompanied by 250MW / 1000MWh of battery storage – broke the coverage in the state planning approval process.
The request was presented by the consultants of Energy Projects Solar Pty Ltd and is proposed for a site east of Robertstown, about 115 km northeast of Adelaide.
The same company is also proposing a 280MW solar farm and battery storage facilities near Port Pirie, known as the Bungama solar project.
He says the Robertstown Solar project – subject to funding – will likely be built in four stages, and the battery storage facility will also be built in stages. Synchronous capacitors can also be installed, if required by the network and by the market operator.
The Robertstown Solar project rivals another proposal in the Robertstown area known as the Solar River, which has 200MW of photovoltaic solar energy and 120MWh of battery storage, and which can add another 200MW of solar storage and 150MWh of battery in a second stage.
The two projects join more than a dozen solar proposals and storage in the state that are in various stages of construction and proposal.
These include the Bungala solar project, which completed the first stage of 120MW and is almost completed the second stage of 120MW, the 110MW Tailem Bend solar project not yet completed and the 280MW solar project of Cultana proposed by Sanjeev Gupta and Simc Zen Energy , from Whyalla Steel. .
South Australia has already achieved more than 50% share of solar and wind energy in its network, mainly through large-scale wind (44%) and solar coverage (7% to 8%).
This share is growing as more projects come on stream. Gupta itself proposes some 1GW of solar power and storage in the state to help Whyalla power and other major energy users, and AEMO predicted that enough wind and solar energy could be built by 2026/27 to generate more than is consumed in the state.
AEMO and local utility operator ElectraNet want to build a new connector for NSW to facilitate the flow of electricity to and from South Australia and other states.
Both the Robertstown and Solar River projects seem to have been proposed with this in mind. The link favored by AEMO and ElectraNet will begin near the Robertstown substation and will continue to Wagga Wagga. Numerous other projects are being proposed for the other side of the line in NSW, and between the two.
In South Australia, in addition to the significant amounts of battery storage proposed, about five different sites are being considered for pumped hydroelectric plants, and SolarReserve is still working on its solar tower and proposed salt storage near Port Augusta.
The Robertstown solar project is proposed for cultivation and grazing. Links made to project developers and consultants for more information were not returned. Robertstown envisaged completion of its project within 6 years of approval, while Solar River is looking to begin construction this year and finish in two years.