The South Australia government has given planning approval for the massive $3 billion Goyder South wind, solar and battery storage project that will help propel the state towards and beyond the state Liberal government’s target of “net” 100 per cent renewables.
Goyder South, being developed by French renewable group Neoen, which already operates the Hornsdale wind farm and the adjacent Hornsdale big battery, will feature up to 1200MW of wind energy, 600MW of solar, and up to 900MW of battery capacity, with likely two hours of storage (1,800MWh).
State energy minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the project, located near Burra, would create hundreds of jobs and was a key reason why the government was keen to build the new transmission link from South Australia to NSW.
“This, yet again, shines a light on the importance of the interconnector, which will deliver cheaper, cleaner electricity and regional employment,” he said in a statement.
“The Australian Energy Market Operator has deemed the SA-NSW Interconnector “critical” and a “no- regrets” project to help keep the lights on in South Australia.
“It’s also critical to secure projects such as Goyder, which can only grow to its $3 billion potential with the SA-NSW Interconnector.”
Van Holst Pellekaan also noted that the announced early closure of the Yallourn brown coal fired power station in Victoria presented a big opportunity for SA to stamp itself as an exporter of firmed renewable power.
“The closure of coal-fired generators interstate will continue and is one of the reasons to increase interconnection, so we can export more of our renewable energy into other states.”
However, both van Holst Pellekaan and the NSW energy minister Matt Kean have expressed frustration over the lengthy regulatory process – which along with a blow out in costs to $2.4 billion – had delayed final approvals for the project, despite AEMO insisting it was still important and valuable to support the renewables transition.
Goyder South has already landed a long term supply contract with the ACT government for a 100MW wind component, delivering a record low price of $44.97 per MWh, and because it is a fixed price over the term of the contract, translates into a price of around $35/MWh today.
Neoen hopes to begin construction of the first stage of the project, which will total up to 400MW, in the second half of 2022.
“We are extremely pleased to hear the positive decision on Goyder South,” said Louis de Sambucy, the managing director of Neoen Australia.
“We would like to thank the Goyder community and Council for their warm reception, as well as the South Australian government for its ongoing commitment to the transition to renewable energy.
“Goyder South will not only support South Australia in reaching its goal of net 100% renewables by 2030, it will deliver income security to farmers, as well as jobs to the Goyder region. We will now focus on achieving grid connection in cooperation with ElectraNet and the Australian Energy Market Operator.
De Sambucy also underlined his support for the new link to NSW, known as Project EnergyConnect, which he said was “vital to unlocking the full, future potential of Goyder South.” (The project is being built between Burra and Robertstown, where the propose link to NSW will start).
The statement from the minister’s office also said that planning approval has also been given to Origin Energy’s planned 150MW Morgan solar farm, which will also include a big battery.