DP Energy have announced plans for a proposed massive expansion to its Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park.
The Stage 2 project involves a significant additional solar panel component, generating up to 500 Megawatts and a battery storage element of around 400 MW capacity.
The proposal is expected to be submitted to the Development Assessment Commission by June 2017.
If successful, construction will flow from Stage 1, targeting a continued use of workforce from the Stage 1 construction.
Both projects combined will create over 600 jobs during construction and 10 ongoing maintenance jobs.
Port Augusta Mayor Sam Johnson said the proposal is a significant step and ‘very promising’ for the town.
“I’ve said it time and time again, we are positioning ourselves and we’re well and truly on the way to becoming the renewable capital of this nation,” he said.
“ … And most importantly, it’s all private money.”
Mayor Johnson said he’s working with fellow Councils in the Upper Spencer Gulf to work on possible manufcactuing opportunities that could come from these and similar projects.
“For example, Heliostat SA, is someone that Spencer Gulf cities is negotiating with, because they’re doing the automotive transformation and manufacturing of heliostat and solar PV panels, and (we’re talking about) how we can link in with that,” he said.
The solar component of Stage 2, covering an area of approximately 880 hectares, will be situated to the eastern side of the Augusta Highway, around 10 kilometres east-southeast of Port Augusta.
It’s planned to be directly opposite Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park Stage 1, located on privately held land within the Primary Industry Zone of the Port Augusta local government area.
- Reach Solar’s Bungala Solar Farm reaches financial close, with construction to commence around January 18, boosting Port Augusta with up to 350 jobs.
- Nexis Energy’s $450 million Lincoln Gap Wind Farm reaches financial close, creating up to 300 jobs during consttruction.
- Solastor plan to develop a modular solar thermal project that could expand to a billion dollar project that would create around 2000 jobs during construction.
Two potential locations have been identified for the battery storage element (east and west), each occupying an area of up to four hectares.
The first within the boundary proposed for the Stage 2 solar component and the second directly adjacent to the main substation that forms part of Stage 1.
The energy storage component will consist of battery storage with associated inverters, and controllers.
The Stage 2 solar component’s 5,000,000 solar panels will work with associated inverters, transformers, and interconnecting substations.
Combined with Stage 1’s 400 hectares of solar panels and 59 wind turbines, the project claims to power about 200,000 homes and save 470,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year.
The predicted life of the project is approximately twenty-five years.