Australian electricity retailer Flow Power says it has energised two new solar farms in South Australia, the company’s first owned and operated renewable generation projects.
The two projects – the 3.10MW Streaky Bay and the 4.95MW Coonalpyn solar farms – were both connected to the South Australian distribution grid in the first half of the year and reached full operation last week.
The Streaky Bay Energy Project consists of 10,000 solar panels and is one of the westernmost solar projects in Australia’s National Electricity Market. It will primarily supply power to the Western Eyre Peninsula.
The Coonalpyn Solar Farm is located 160-kilometres south-east of Adelaide, and was switched on in March 2021 – though only reached full operations last week.
“Owning and operating our own generation and generation-related assets is a core part of our long-term strategy to help the market transition to renewables,” said Flow Power CEO Matthew van der Linden, adding that battery storage projects will also be built.
“A big part of this strategy is to invest in assets that future-proof our customers in a high renewable penetration market. As such, we will be investing to build firming assets such as battery energy storage systems that will help to manage our customers’ load but also provide stability to the network.
“We have invested in our internal engineering capability to develop and deliver high-quality projects. This allows us to have a greater control over time, quality and costs of delivering such assets – benefits which ultimately flow to our customers.”
In both cases, the City of Adelaide will serve as the primary customer, having signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Flow Power back in 2019. The City of Adelaide also signed a PPA with Flow Power for output from the Clements Gap Wind Farm in mid-north South Australia.
The PPAs with Flow Power ensures that 100% of the City of Adelaide’s operations are powered by renewable electricity, according to the initiation of the contract back in July 2020.
Both Coonalpyn and Streaky Bay solar projects were acquired from developer Tetris Energy in February of 2020, and were part of a total of nine new solar farms approved by the Essential Services Commission of South Australia at the time.
“The City of Adelaide is proud to be leading the way when it comes to renewable energy and our continued commitment to using the equivalent of 100 percent renewable electricity to power our operations,” said City of Adelaide Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor.
“The commencement of operations of the Coonalpyn and Streaky Bay solar farms is an important milestone for the City of Adelaide and demonstrates Council’s commitment to being carbon neutral as well as supporting local employment and investment in renewable energy in South Australia.”