Canadian clean energy investor Amp Energy has big three solar and battery projects in South Australia as part of a $2 billion play to create a zero emissions hydrogen production hub.
Amp, headquartered in Toronto, says it has bought the three projects from Australian renewable energy consultancy EPS, and they total more than 1,300MW of solar capacity with up to 540MW of big battery capacity, and will feed a new green hydrogen hub at Port Spencer.
The projects involved are the 636MW Robertson solar project, near the major sub-station from where a proposed new transmission link to NSW will be built, along with the 336MW Bungama project and the 388MW Yoorndoo Ilga project.
Amp says the Robertson and Bungama projects are ready to progress to construction, having already secured development approvals and the land required for the projects. In its statement, it says it expects the projects to commence “staged energisation” in late 2022, which suggests construction will have to start late this year or early 2022.
The projects are expected to create up to 550 full-time jobs during their construction.
”The strategic value of the South Australian portfolio is significant in a jurisdiction which is undergoing one of the most rapid energy transitions in the world,” head of the newly formed Amp Australia, Dean Cooper, said in a statement.
Amp flagged that it is also progressing plans to establish green hydrogen production facilities in South Australia, as part of a proposed Spencer Gulf Hydrogen Energy Ecoplex, that Amp would use to produce hydrogen for export, leveraging its existing presence in other Asian markets.
Last year, the South Australian state Liberal government announced plans to establish three hydrogen hubs in the state, including a hub at Cape Hardy/Port Spencer, part of its plans to move beyond its 2030 target of “net 100 per cent renewables” to become a green hydrogen exporter requiring the equivalent of 500 per cent renewables.
Amp’s announcement was welcomed by South Australian minister for trade and investment, Stephen Patterson, who said the initiative will help the state achieve an ambition of 100 per cent renewable electricity by the end of the decade.
“South Australia has significant land mass and world-class wind and solar resources, with aspirations of reaching net 100 per cent renewable energy generation by 2030,” Patterson said.
“We have seen over $7 billion invested in projects with another $20 billion in the pipeline. The Renewable Energy Hub of South Australia will be fundamental in integrating our state’s renewable energy storage assets and building our capability and supporting the fast-moving energy transitions we’re experiencing.”
Amp already owns a portfolio of 158MW of solar projects in Australia, after first entering the local market in 2017, that either already operating or under construction in New South Wales, including the 39MW Molong solar farm new Orange that commenced full generation in December last year.
Amp says that the company’s expansion into the Australian market will also see it deploy its Amp X digital energy platform, which provides solutions for grid management, including virtual power plants, demand response services and the optimisation of distributed energy resources like rooftop solar and battery storage.
Amp Energy currently has a portfolio of around 4.6GW of projects globally, that are already operating or currently under construction.