Construction begins on 212MW wind farm and storage project in S.A. | RenewEconomy

Construction begins on 212MW wind farm and storage project in S.A.

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Construction begins on state’s newest wind project near Port Augusta, one that will also include battery storage.

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Ground breaking wind farm: Pictured (left to right) – Bruce Nutt (landowner), Ronan Darcy (Wind Energy Solutions), Premier of South Australia Jay Weatherill, Matthew Bartley (Founder & Co-CEO of Nexif Energy), Paul Phelan (Senvion Australia Head of Projects) and Marc Barrington (Senvion Australia Head of Sales – Asia Pacific). Photo supplied.

Work has officially begun on the 212MW Lincoln Gap wind farm and 10MW battery storage project in South Australia, adding to the host of new renewable energy and storage developments around the industrial centres of Whyalla and Port Augusta.

Independent power producer Nexif Energy officially broke ground on its $450-million Lincoln Gap project near Port Augusta during a visit by premier Jay Weatherill, who has been travelling the state highlighting the huge investments occurring in renewable energy.

This week he officially opened a 6MW solar farm near Whyalla, and the opening of an office in Port Augusta for SolarReserve, the US firm which is to build a 150MW solar tower and molten salt storage facility in Australia, the world’s largest.

Another 220MW solar farm, Bungala, also near Port Augusta, is also under construction, as is a 100MW solar project at Tailem Bend, while SIMEC ZEN has plans for 1GW of solar and storage to help power the Whyalla steelworks and a possible new electric vehicle manufacturing plant near Adelaide.

All these projects are being added to a state which already sources half of its demand from wind and solar, and increasing amounts of storage, including the Tesla big battery next to the Hornsdale wind farm – also the world’s biggest of its kind.

Lincoln Gap plans to add 10MW of battery storage initially, but could significantly lift that amount of storage depending on the outcome of proposed rule changes that could encourage more storage into the energy grid.

“We’re delighted to be bringing this long-planned project to fruition,” said Matthew Bartley, the founder & Co-CEO of Nexif Energy.

“Nexif Energy is committed to building something which will make a significant contribution to the renewable energy target while helping grid stability and reliability in South Australia.”

The Lincoln Gap Wind Farm will include up to 59 Senvion wind turbines, built on farmland on a raised plateau next to the Eyre Highway. It is expected to be commissioned in late 2018.

The average construction workforce will be 110 – 130 people, with more than 50 per cent hired from South Australia.

Weatherill said South Australia is now world-renowned for its leadership in renewable energy and “it’s great companies like Nexif Energy are choosing to invest in our great state.

“This is also an exciting development for Port Augusta, which is moving beyond its past as a coal town to a clean renewable energy future.

Nexif Energy is also at an advanced stage of development of its 90MW wind farm in the Waterloo Ranges, approximately 15km west of Glen Innes in the Northern Tablelands region of New South Wales.

It will add to the suite of wind and solar projects in the electorate of deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce, one of the most trenchant critics of schemes supporting such investments.

Meanwhile, the Kiata wind farm in Victoria was also formally opened on Wednesday by state energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio.



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  1. Joe 2 years ago

    Premier Jay should hang onto that shovel…plenty more ‘first sodding’ to be done.

  2. George Darroch 2 years ago

    Things are moving along very quickly in the energy-innovation state.

  3. john 2 years ago

    Expect a new statement from the federal people in power pointing out how these projects are the ruin of Australia. I expect that statement on Australia Day this Friday.

    • Hettie 2 years ago

      Eventually, even the RWNJS will have to concede that just as we mostly don’t depend on horse drawn transport these days, we have are ceasing to depend on fossil fuels.
      Clearly this will cause them great distress. Enough to bring on catastrophic apoplexy? Oh dog, I do hope so.

  4. Radbug 2 years ago

    Solar is so great. If you stuff it up, you can just dismantle it & sell the the components to someone else!! You can’t do that with the Snowy 2.0.

    • MaxG 2 years ago

      But then, how could you possibly stuff up solar?! 🙂

      • GregS 2 years ago

        Install panels upside down?

      • mick 2 years ago

        point them south

  5. Barri Mundee 2 years ago

    I am pleased to see that Josh Frydenberg was not invited.

  6. Aluap 2 years ago

    Our mad government has turned energy policy into a culture war. I wonder how they will decide to toxify this SA project.

  7. Michael Murray 2 years ago

    Much as I applaud what is being done there is a long way to go it seems. If you look at NEM-watch just for SA right now (9 pm Friday 26/1/10218)

    we are using 1100 MW gas + 200 MW wind + 600 MW from the east coast. We have a lot more wind capacity than that but the wind seems to unfortunately decrease dramatically in hot weather when we need the generation most. So will this new wind help by being situated somewhere with different wind conditions or is it more turbines not turning in low wind conditions? If the latter we urgently need more storage to eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels. I don’t know what that battery has in terms of storage capacity (20 MWh ?) but it’s not going to help much with replacing 1700 x 72 = 122.4 GWh required for a 3 day heatwave. The molten salt storage will also help but still they are small numbers compared to what we need.

    Of course as a nation we should be focusing on replacing all the coal with gas in the interim but that would require some political replacements in Canberra!

    • Pixilico 2 years ago

      Be careful what you wish for (more gas than coal), you might get it! And then be saddled with it! At a time when renewables and storage are definitely poised to take over the markets at a much quicker pace than we can expect:

      • Michael Murray 2 years ago

        Interesting article. But they also are doing some gas

        The proposal would shut down two coal plants in the state and replace their output with roughly 700 MW of solar, 1 GW of wind, and 700 MW of natural gas by 2023.

        You still need to find maybe 2 GW of power for SA on a heatwave day when the wind is barely blowing and you need to have that power available into the early evening when solar drops away. That demand of course will also go up when all the cars are EV.

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