Another major wind farm accompanied by a big battery is seeking approval in South Australia, adding to the growing number of wind and solar and storage projects that will take the state beyond its target of net 100 pr cent renewable energy by 2030.
Georgetown Hills Renewable Energy, back by Macquarie Capital and Siemens Gamesa, is proposing a 270MW wind facility to be known as Carmody’s Hill, supported by a big battery of at least 128MW (with the hours of storage yet to be decided) to meet its requirements for fast frequency response.
Carmody’s Hill is located 180kms north of Adelaide in the state’s mid-north, where a number of projects – including the Hornsdale wind farm and big battery, as well as the Hallett and Snowtown wind farms are already located – and it will be jostling for position on the grid with a number of other big project proposals.
Georgetown Hills says other projects in the pipeline include the much bigger Crystal Brook and South Goyder projects – both proposed by Hornsdale owner Neoen – along with Robertstown Solar and Solar River, but it is confident that it will find space on the grid after the construction of the proposed new link to NSW and the creation of a local renewable energy zone.
The proposal for Carmody’s Hill was formally presented to the South Australia Planning Commission on Wednesday, and it says the plans allow for up to 45 wind turbines of up to 6.6MW in capacity on land primarily used for grazing.
The project was first proposed by Pacific Hydro more than a decade ago in 2009, when a smaller 140MW project was envisaged. But, like the South Goyder project now being built by Neoen, it was never developed.
“In April 2019 Georgetown Hills Renewable Energy (GHRE) secured the options from Pacific Hydro to develop the wind farm with a reduced footprint, fewer turbines and the inclusion of a battery energy storage system,” it says in its application.
“Negotiations with land owners have been underway since late 2018 to secure new agreements for GRHE’s development proposal.”
All new wind and solar projects in the state are required by SA’s Office of the Technical Regulator to provide battery storage to meet fast frequency response requirements. Georgetown Hills says its battery will be sized to at least 128MW.
The project has an investment value of $350 million, but the proponents say it will have an economic benefit of $115 to $130 million for the council area and wider mid-north region over the 30 year life of the development.
“GHRE intends to commence construction of the Carmody’s Hill project within two years of obtaining development approval,” it says, although this timing will depend on its ability to lock in a power purchase agreement. “It is anticipated that construction would take approximately 18 months, with the project being commissioned in 2022/2023.”
The project will have the capacity to supply power to the equivalent of approximately 179,000 homes and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 688,000 tonnes per year.