Work begins on NSW solar, wind and hydro 'energy park' | RenewEconomy

Work begins on NSW solar, wind and hydro ‘energy park’

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Sydney company Pamada says work has begun on its $190m Kyoto Energy Park project combining wind, solar and a “water battery” – despite RET uncertainty.

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Work has begun on the construction of a $190 million renewable energy park in NSW that will harness the power of the sun, the wind and water, despite Australia’s unfavourable policy environment and continued uncertainty around the Renewable Energy Target.

Pamada, the property development and renewables company behind Kyoto Energy Park in Scone, announced last month that works were “well underway” at the Upper Hunter Valley site, with the arrival of the first earth moving equipment.

“Yes we have started work. We have access happening, but we will then continue in a measured way to do everything we can until hopefully government policy changes a little bit better for investor outlook in renewables,” project director Mark Sydney told the ABC.

Scone, in the Upper Hunter Valley, NSW

Plans for the wind and solar farm – which also included a 1MW closed-loop hydro plant – were approved by the NSW government back in early 2010.

Once completed, the Kyoto Energy Park is expected to be able to generate as much as 113MW of electricity – enough to power 47,000 homes in the region each year – as well as to reduce water consumption by 600 million litres annually, and cut an estimated 6.5 million tonnes of CO2 emissions over the life of the project.

It will also be used to trial smart grid technology in conjunction with the CSIRO.

Pamada has also chosen to engage local contractors only on the project to date, including the use of Scone-based No Bull Building for the stage one works.

The deliberately low-key company said additional construction would “continue quietly, progressing Stage 1 activities and developing the detail for the commencement of the Stage 2 works to follow as soon as possible.”

Stage two, it said, would involve the development of the plant’s substation and ancillary works; while stage three would see the development of the 10MW solar PV Plant, and stage four the installation of a 34 turbine wind farm.

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 12.51.50 PM
Pamada’s animated rendering of its planned closed-loop mini-hydro system

The 1MW hydro plant would be used primarily as a ‘water battery’, the company said, to provide storage for excess energy produced for later discharge back into the grid.

“The Mini-hydo system is a closed loop process meaning once the system is charged it will not require additional water resources like a conventional hydro plant,” says the Kyoto Energy Park website.

“A closed loop mini-hydro system would provide a power generation source that can be fed into the grid supplementing local electricity demand during peak periods.

“In addition surplus energy from the Park can be stored in the system during periods when the Park is off-grid for later discharge during peak periods.”

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  1. Robert Johnston 6 years ago

    Starting and building are very different. This is a quirk of the planning system that if you start construction your planning approval does not expire. I’m willing to bet this project never “finishes” construction. Any takers?

  2. derekbolton 6 years ago

    “113MWh of electricity [each year] – enough to power 47,000 homes”
    Even 113GWh would be a bit low. IPART reckons 8MWh per household.

    • WR 6 years ago

      That was (up to) 113 MW of power, 10 MW of solar and 103 MW of wind operating at maximum capacity. The combination of those two should generate about 280 GWh of energy annually (about 15 GWh from the solar and the rest from the wind). That should be enough electricity for about 35,000 homes.

    • Petra Liverani 6 years ago

      It says 113MW not MWh. I would’ve thought it’s about 1MW per 1,000 homes, eg, the CSP+ (Concentrated Solar Thermal + molten salt storage) plant, Gemasolar, near Seville, is 20MW and is supposed to service well over 20,000 homes. Even if we’re bigger consumers of electricity than Spain I would’ve thought 113MW would power more than 47,000 homes. Perhaps it’s the storage that allows Gemasolar to service proportionally more homes. Perhaps the 113MW capacity without storage means much less actual generation?

      • derekbolton 6 years ago

        Hi Petra. OK, it has been corrected. I cut and pasted from the original text, so it definitely said MWh. It still (redundantly) says ‘each year’.

  3. Geoff Forgie 3 years ago

    Another nice bit of NSW ruined.

  4. Anthony Gardner 2 years ago

    Hi Sophie,
    Any chance of an update?

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