‘Power station of the future’ hits major milestone

PLANS: The proposed Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park project will be located on the coastal plain south-east of Port Augusta. Photo: DP Energy
PLANS: The proposed Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park project will be located on the coastal plain south-east of Port Augusta. Photo: DP Energy

The city on the skirts of the desert is one step closer to the title of Australia’s greenest city as Port Augusta’s Renewable Energy Park hits another major milestone.

Park proprietors DP Energy have announced government approval for Stage Two of the project, with financial close for Stage One expected by the end of the year. 

The groundbreaking project will see both wind turbines and solar photovoltaic (PV) modules occupying approximately 5400 hectares of land from Port Paterson in the north, to Winninowie in the south and spanning Highway One.

Stage Two approval allows up to 500MW of solar photovoltaic generation, 400MW of battery storage and 3000MW seconds of synchronous condenser capacity to be built.

The addition of batteries and synchronous condensers to the renewable generation capacity is set to help stabilise the grid and assist the network in reducing potential black outs.

DP Energy Business Development Manager Catherine Way said the power station represented the next step in renewable technology.

“Renewable energy projects are becoming increasingly mainstream, driven by continual technological advances that deliver greater efficiencies and reduced costs,” she said.

“However, the missing piece has always been the ability to provide full grid support and controllable power to match energy demand with energy generation.

“The unique renewable energy capability of Stage Two minimises this previous limitation, making this a power station of the future.”

When complete the Park will offer most services of a traditional fossil fuelled power station, but fuelled by renewable energy.

DP Energy CEO Simon De Pietro said Stage Two approval represented another successful step in the process.

“We’ve now received all the necessary government approvals for the project, which is very encouraging,” Mr De Pietro said.

“This latest development will contribute to Port Augusta becoming the renewable energy capital of Australia now there is no longer coal generation.”