The final turbine has been installed at what will be Australia’s biggest wind and solar hybrid facility, with “energisation” expected soon as the connection approval is finalised and first production due in the next three months.
The 317MW Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park (PAREP) combines 50 wind turbines and more than 250,000 solar modules, with 210MW of wind capacity and 107MW of solar capacity.
The $500 million facility is being built by Spanish giant Iberdrola, in conjunction with the project developer DP Energy, and when fully commissioned will significantly increase the amount of renewable in the South Australia grid, which has already averaged a world-leading 62 per cent in the last 12 months.
It is the first major investment for Iberdrola in Australia, although the company has also bought out the Australian developer Infigen, giving it access to more than 800MW of operating wind, solar and battery storage facilities in Australia and a large pipeline of more than 1,000MW of new projects.
“Once grid connection is approved, PAREP will significantly increase the volume of reliable and affordable clean energy available for South Australian customers,” Iberdrola Australia’s managing director and CEO Ross Rolfe said in a statement.
The South Australian minister for energy and local MP Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the project had reached an important milestone, and had created more than 200 full-time jobs during the construction phase and will create a further 20 on-going jobs after completion.
“Iberdrola’s successful introduction into the Australian market through the Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park provides a genuine boost to South Australia’s journey to post COVID-19 economic recovery,” he said.
“This innovative regional renewable energy project is an example of the way our state government is delivering on its vision for South Australia to achieve 100% net renewable energy by 2030.”
Port Augusta and its immediate surroundings are also host to the Lincoln Gap wind farm, and the Bungala solar farms.