Gupta's grand solar plans in South Australia get network tick | RenewEconomy

Gupta’s grand solar plans in South Australia get network tick

AEMO says two South Australian regions could add 2GW of renewables without any transmission upgrades, and suggests Roxby Downs could emerge as major solar energy region.


Plans by billionaire steel plant operator Sanjeev Gupta to build up to 1,000MW of large-scale solar and storage in South Australia appear to have no network limitations, with the Australian Energy Market Operator saying there is plenty of spare capacity in the local grid.

AEMO’s Integrated System Plan, released on Tuesday, looks at potential renewable energy zones around the country to try to understand what upgrades and extensions need to be made to accommodate the shift to a majority renewable energy power supply over the next decade.

One of the most interesting of these is South Australia, which already sources around 50 per cent of its demand from wind and solar, and has enough projects under construction or contracted to take this to 73 per cent by 2021.

But it could go much higher.

Gupta’s plans to build 1GW of solar to supply the Whyalla steelworks and other large industrial customers – and other big projects such as the DP Energy renewable park, Neoen’s Crystal Brook green hydrogen hub – and a number of pumped hydro storage proposals could take this figure to around 100 per cent.

The ISP report analyses nine potential renewable energy zones in South Australia and states a preference for two – northern South Australia, around the industrial cities of Whyalla, Port August and Port Pirie, and the mid-north, stretching inland north from near Adelaide and including some of the state’s major wind developments to date.

Both the Northern and mid-north region, AEMO notes, could take an additional 1,000MW of new renewable energy capacity without the need for network upgrades.

The Northern region, including Whyalla and Port Augusta, boasts high quality solar resources and includes locations where pumped hydro resources could be developed.

It also has strong network connection with the major load centres, consisting of multiple 275 kV transmission lines. “This means there is sufficient capacity in the REZ to connect around 1,000MW of new generation without needing major regional transmission network augmentations,” it says.

That means it is very resilient to large changes in network losses and marginal loss factors.

It notes the mid-north region has “moderate quality” solar and good wind resources, and also includes locations where pumped hydro resources could be developed.

It, too, has strong connection to the major load centres in South Australia than other candidate renewable energy zones. “There is sufficient transmission capacity to connect around 1,000 MW of additional generation without needing major transmission network augmentations.”

AEMO also suggests that the Roxby Downs region, where the Olympic Dam and other mining projects are located, should be a priority renewable energy zone for solar generation in the medium term.

It already has a connection to the shared network by a single-circuit 275 kV transmission line owned by BHP. Recently, OZ Minerals announced that it will establish a new transmission circuit through this region in a deal signed with SolarReserve, which is to build the big solar tower with storage plant near Port Augusta.

“AEMO recommends that future renewable energy development in Roxby Downs be taken into consideration when considering this transmission line development – for example, by using transmission towers that could accommodate a second circuit at a later date.”

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  1. Joe 2 years ago

    The Sanjeev and his ‘Green Steel’ is getting closer, Imma loving it. Can’t wait to see the Abbott’s face as the first steel product rolls out of the Sanjeevs steel mill.

    • john 2 years ago

      Read what I said above mate.

      • Joe 2 years ago

        Got it, thanks….you actually got moved to the bottom of the page!

    • Hettie 2 years ago

      Let’s hear it for the electrons!
      Truly non-discriminatory. They don’t care if they’re blow ins, or sun baked, wetbacks or thermals. All are equal in the eyes of the end user.

      • Ian 2 years ago

        So long as they are not nuclei in disguise, or fossiltrons. Especially not black or brown Carboniferous electrons, they are the worst.

        • Hettie 2 years ago

          The point is that all electrons are equally powerful.
          Of course the source is important to the planet and the closer environment, but Gupta’s green ones will smelt steel just the same as any thermal or nuclear ones.

          • Peter Campbell 2 years ago

            Well, the electrons are all the same. Indeed they get ‘recycled’ 50 times per second as they run back and forth, regardless of how they are being pushed and pulled. 😉

      • Joe 2 years ago

        Now Hettie, are not ‘Green Electrons’ the best electrons…ha, ha, ha. I am not 100% up on the Sanjeev’s setup but can I ask will he have ‘self consumption’ from his RE build. If so, then his ‘Green Steel’ really will be ‘Greeeeen Steeeeeel’.

        • Hettie 2 years ago

          See above, Joe. You know perfectly well what I meant.

          • Joe 2 years ago

            Hi Hettie, yes I did read you earlier post. I was just having a bit of fun with Electrons.

          • Hettie 2 years ago

            The trouble with text is that it had no non verbal cues or tones of voice.
            I guess the techies will come up with a way of having voice to text that becomes text to voice, some time.

          • rob 2 years ago

            The trouble with text is sometimes you come you come across as a real witch,,,,,,,I dare not but a “b” in from of that……..”infantile” was your choice of words towards me……. I have no idea if you got the other messages from me……..but either block me or start being a decent huperson. Mentally ill I may be…….but you have no right to call a nice comment infantile! You may have recently lost your pooch,your spelling.humour.and grammar may have hit the wall! I take no joy from that what so ever….but YOU WILL NOT TREAT ME LIKE A PIECE OF TRASH! christ hettie I love most of your posts here……but I am a gentle person with mental issues… you ruined my life for over a week…..does that make you happy?

  2. Geoffrey Cann 2 years ago

    South Australia is really starting to kick goals

    • Joe 2 years ago

      I think SA have been kicking goals for a while now, thanks to ‘Strong Leadership’ and ‘Strong Action’ by ex-Premier Jay and ex-Minister Tom.

      • rob 2 years ago

        Wow Joe thanks for that……as a S.A. old man I am so angry with the feds and mudrock media…….. we have been kicking str8 goal for years and copped so much flack it is no longer funny!

        • Joe 2 years ago

          ‘They’ are still going at SA over The Tornado event that caused the big blackout…it was all the fault of Renewable Energy! But the wider media never calls it out and so the blackout lie keeps getting air time.

          • Peter Campbell 2 years ago

            The other lie that never gets called out, that even gets repeated by the media, is that the NEG’s 26% emission reductions from electricity meets Australia’s Paris target. It doesn’t. Electricity is only a third of our emissions (or something like that) so 26% from electricity only meets a third of our commitment. The media never mention that the government has no policy about how it will meet the rest of our commitment. Obviously, the easiest way is by doing more than 26% with electricity.

          • Joe 2 years ago

            Yes,you are right. We know that Rupert and his newsrags wont publish the truth but what is the excuse for Fairfax publications, they have some half decent journos so why aren’t they doing their job???

  3. Graeme Harrison 2 years ago

    I sure hope Sanjeev has mentioned this to SA government, so that they do not agree with Josh’s concept (NEG) that the Federal denialists be allowed to control how much the states can do!

    • john 2 years ago

      very true.
      Sanjeev Gupta is going to implement this development.
      Because he and everyone else knows this is the lowest cost of energy.
      As a company buying Energy if 1 is lower and 2 is higher what would you do?
      NO not buy the higher cost obviously but the lower so that is exactly what the company has done well done Sanjeev Gupta.

  4. john 2 years ago

    OK copy and paste.
    Plans by billionaire steel plant operator Sanjeev Gupta to build up to 1,000MW of large-scale solar and storage in South Australia appear to have no network limitations, with the Australian Energy Market Operator saying there is plenty of spare capacity in the local grid.
    So taking that at face value it means Gupta can build a 1,000 MW Solar and some storage system.
    OMG where is Clown Shoes with his hideous call out Renewable Energy will be the death of the network and force up prices of energy for everyone?
    Answer not end of story.
    Should I say idiot comment from Clown Shoes?

  5. BushAxe 2 years ago

    The initial stages of the new line to Olympic Dam is already underway with the 275kV expansion of the Mt Gunson substation to be completed by the end of the year. The new line to OD has to be completed by August 2020 for Oz Minerals, this will eventually allow about 1500MW of new generation. The replacement of the Whyalla-Port Lincoln line with a high capacity double circuit will also enable about 1000MW of new generation too. This will all tie in with the proposed NSW interconnector.

  6. Ian 2 years ago

    Amazing what resources are already there to advance renewables installations. Port Augusta lies north of Goyder’s line. Drought for agriculture, but endless sunshine for solar farms. Not just one transmission line to the area but several. It takes an England-based billionaire to see the obvious? Where the hell is B bloody HP Billiton when you need them? Oh well, Comme si comme ça!

    • Nick Kemp 2 years ago

      Hilariously BHP got Mr Gupta here by selling him the steel factory in Whyalla. They wanted to get rid f it because it was no longer economical in their view. I wonder how that board discussion is being viewed now

      • Joe 2 years ago

        It is a moment like we had in NSW when the Liberal State Govt ‘gave away’ a coal power plant for $1million to AGL. AGL has been creaming it ever since and now we have this ongoing war Fed Libs vs Andy Vessey / AGL where stupid Two Tongues Turnbull and his hand puppet Frydosaurus are bleating about Andy Vessey / AGL not selling it off to Alinta. I mean why blame Andy V / AGL…just blame the stupid State Liberal Govt. for giving it away in the first place!

  7. Bob Halifax 2 years ago

    Sanjeev is merely following the global trend of the transition from fossil fuels to renewables. Look at some of the recent global energy related news headlines and see the ongoing shift from fossil fuels to clean energy, as Sanjeev would already know, pollution and economics will drive the change regardless – only the speed of the transition is in question:

    Vitol launches new fund to invest in wind power. Vitol Group, the world’s largest independent oil trader, is set to launch a new fund that will invest in wind farms in Europe.

    IEA: Global energy investment fell for third year in a row. The IEA said in a new report that total global energy investment fell by 2 percent in 2017, the third consecutive year of a dip in spending. Much of the decline occurred in the power generation sector, due to “fewer additions of coal, hydro and nuclear power.

    Ireland votes to divest from fossil fuels. Ireland became the first country to pass legislation to divest from fossil fuels. The Irish parliament passed a bill that calls for the $10.4 billion strategic investment fund to withdraw investments from coal, oil and gas over the next five years.

    Half of new cars sold in UK will be hybrid or electric by 2030. As part of the UK’s “Road to Zero” plan, the UK expects half of new cars sold in 2030 will be either electric or hybrid. By 2040, the country hopes eliminate the sale of gasoline and diesel vehicles.

    Tesla hits production milestone. Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) finally hit its production goal of 5,000 Model 3 units per week. Elon Musk said output would rise to 6,000 per week in July. “I think we just became a real car company,” Musk wrote in an email to employees.

    BP to buy UK electric vehicle charging company. BP (NYSE: BP) said it plans to acquire the largest EV recharging company in the UK. BP will pay $170 million for Chargemaster, which runs 6,500 charging points in the UK. The acquisition is the latest sign that the oil majors are beginning to plan for a post-oil world, diversifying their assets as a hedge against peak oil demand.

    Renewables see more investment than fossil fuels. Global spending on renewable energy for electricity generation is exceeding that of all fossil fuels and nuclear power combined. According to the IEA, the world spent $297 billion on renewable energy in 2016 (the latest year for which complete data is available), which was more than twice the $143 billion spent on new nuclear, coal, gas and fuel oil power combined. Renewables will account for 56 percent of all new electricity capacity installed between now and 2025. Costs have declined so much that renewables are the cheapest option in many places. As of last year, about 12.1 percent of global electricity generation came from non-hydro renewables, double the share from a decade earlier.

    Large corporations worried about climate change. An analysis of 10 years’ worth of earnings calls by S&P Global Ratings found that “climate” and “weather” were frequently discussed, while words like “oil,” “Trump,” “the dollar” and “recession” received less attention. “The effect of climate risk and severe weather events on corporate earnings is meaningful,” S&P said in the joint report with Hamilton, Bermuda-based Resilience Economics Ltd.

    Warren Buffett utility to be first to 100 percent renewable energy. MidAmerican Energy Co., owned by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, is set to become the first major U.S. utility generating enough electricity from renewable energy to meet 100 percent of its customer’s usage. MidAmerican will complete a 591-MW wind project, the company’s 12th, by 2020, which will allow it to meet that renewable target.

    $1 billion in EV recharging infrastructure this week. California announced a $738 million investment in electric vehicles this week, which will inject money into EV programs for utilities, offering customers rebates on the installation for recharging stations, money for fast charging stations, and for recharging infrastructure for buses, trucks and forklifts. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the investment will be the largest of its kind in the U.S. Meanwhile, in New York, the state announced a $250 million investment in fast charging EV infrastructure along interstate corridors. Together, California and New York just injected $1 billion into recharging infrastructure this week.

    Peak oil demand to erase $19 trillion in oil income. The adoption of 240 million electric vehicles by 2040 will cause oil demand to peak by the mid-2020s, which will destroy $19 trillion in income according to Aurora Energy Research Ltd. Aurora’s “analysis points to a possible energy future of mass electrification, digitization, and new technologies, in which the rise in electric vehicles and continued improvements in fuel efficiency lead to peak oil demand occurring in the mid-2020,” Richard Howard, head of research at Aurora, said in the report. Ultimately, the displacement of around 8 million barrels per day could cause oil prices to fall to as low as $32 per barrel by 2040.

    In 2017 52GW of wind power were installed globally taking the total installed to 539GW.

    • Hettie 2 years ago

      Thank you for that, Bob.
      Australia my be suffering from a delusional psychosis about energy, but it seems that most of the world is relatively sane.

  8. Mike Shackleton 2 years ago

    I would have thought it wouldn’t be too much of an issue – if the steel making facilities in Whyalla are self consuming the output from the renewables projects proposed by Gupta, there will be little additional transmission on the wider network anyway. The steelworks has always been a big power user too, so the infrastructure would have been in place to deal with this for a long time. Gupta could always install the renewables “behind the meter” and only export the excess.

    • Hettie 2 years ago

      Surely that is the plan .BTM.. How else could the project save him money?

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