DP Energy gets OK to build 1.1GW wind, solar and storage in SA

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DP Energy wins approval for Stage 2 of 1.1GW hybrid renewables park, which will offer most services of traditional fossil fuel power stations.

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Irish renewables company DP Energy has been given the green light to expands its Port Augusta hybrid renewable energy park to a total of 1.1GW of wind, solar and storage.

The company said on Wednesday that it had won state government approval for the proposed second stage of its Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park (PAREP) in June.

Stage 2 of the PAREP, flagged in November last year, would allow up to 500MW of solar PV generation, 400MW of battery storage and 3,000MW seconds of synchronous condenser capacity to be added to a previously canvassed 375MW first phase – a combination of 225MW of wind and 150MW of solar.

“We’ve now received all the necessary government approvals for the project, which is very encouraging,” said DP Energy CEO Simon De Pietro in a statement. And the company says it is nearing financial close for Stage 1.

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

Once completed, the company says the PAREP will offer most of the services of a traditional fossil fuelled power station – which will please even Matt Canavan – but fuelled by renewable energy – which won’t.

It pointed, in particular, to the addition of batteries and synchronous condensers, which it said would give the project the ability to react to fluctuations in both voltage and frequency, to help stabilise the grid and avoid black outs.

“Renewable energy projects are becoming increasingly mainstream, driven by continual technological advances that deliver greater efficiencies and reduced costs,” said DP Energy business development manager, Catherine Way.

“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 2 minimises this previous limitation, making this a power station of the future,” she said.

As we have reported, the PAREP is one of an increasing number of wind-solar hybrids being built, including the White Rock and Gullen Range projects in NSW and the Kennedy project in Queensland – which may beat it in size eventually with around 1.2GW.

Topping them all could be the ambitious plan to create an Asian Renewable Energy Hub in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, which all told is aiming for a combined total of 9GW of solar and wind.

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8 Comments
  1. bedlam bay 2 months ago

    Great news for Port Augusta and Whyalla which were on their knees two years ago and struggling for forty years before that.

  2. Jon 2 months ago

    Have they committed to stage one yet? Might understanding was they are struggling to get finance.

    • phillyc 2 months ago

      “the company says it is nearing financial close for Stage 1.” So, hopefully it gets up, like every other project I hope gets up!

  3. phillyc 2 months ago

    Keep them coming!

  4. Kate 2 months ago

    A fairly significant development announcement for SA. Nary a blip on the news radar.

    Nothing on the local Pt Augusta rag, the Transcontinental.

    Possibly something on the state based paper, the Advertiser, but the heading is not clear. It mentions a key milestone being achieved and the rest of the article is hidden behind a paywall.

    No search returns for any other more national centric rags.

    Says it all really.

  5. isaac jackson 2 months ago

    “… 400MW of battery storage…” sigh, another meaningless storage figure from this site.

    • Giles 2 months ago

      Sigh, not quite as useless as your remark. The 400MW is the figure, and the only figure, provided by the developers. We can’t make up a MWh for them, because that would be even more useless, and misleading/ Their figure indicates the scale of the battery – the final storage capacity, in MWh will no doubt be decided on final configuration, technology and brand choice.

  6. Gary Rowbottom 2 months ago

    Great to hear. If I was king of Australia I would actually do their Stage 2 before their Stage 1, but either way the two combined is a great development, and I hope both stages will proceed. DA approval and actual construction seem to be 2 not terribly ell connected milestones, the magic link seems to be financial close. It is heartening to hear them say they expect financial close for Stage 1 before year’s end, but I like it better when expect changes to “has”.
    Bring it on, the SA Northern REZ as AEMO’s ISP calls the Port Augusta region.

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