South Australia has added another wind farm, or at least another stage of a major wind project, to its grid as it advances towards its world-leading goal of reaching net 100 per cent renewables within the next few years.
The latest addition is the 86MW second stage of the Lincoln Gap wind farm, one of at least three big wind and wind and solar hybrid projects that are replacing the shuttered coal fired power stations around the city of Port Augusta.
The first 126MW stage of the Lincoln Gap wind project, owned by Nexif Energy, came on line in 2019, but the second stage was held up as the owner sought approval to switch turbine manufacturers, from the failed Senvion business to Vestas.
The first output of the second stage has been noted by data analysts included Geoff Eldridge, or NEMLog, and the third 252MW stage of the Lincoln Gap wind project will be built in coming years, making it the biggest wind farm in the state at a total of 464MW, at least for a time.
There is no news of the fate of the 10MW/10MWh battery that has also been built at the site, but has so far not connected because – RenewEconomy understands – of complications from the re-submitted connection agreements.
Australia’s biggest hybrid project, the Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park, which combines 210MW of wind capacity and 107MW of solar capacity – is also under construction on the other side of Port Augusta.
The addition of the two new facilities – along with the reduction in gas generation thanks to the installation of four synchronous condensers that looks after much of the grid’s gap in “system strength”, means that the state is expected to make a big leap in the penetration of wind and solar.
In the last 12 months, that has averaged more than 62 per cent, but in the last month it has averaged 80 per cent – thanks to good spring time conditions, low demand and the new syncons – so the penetration in the next 12 months is expected to be well in excess of 75 per cent.
RenewEconomy sought a comment from Nexif Energy, but did not receive a reply before publication.
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