Renewable energy giant Neoen is expected to announce plans today for a major hybrid power plant in South Australia featuring 1200 MW of wind, 600 MW of solar and 900 MW of battery storage.
The Goyder South project is proposed to be built near Burra in the Mid North region of South Australia, which has become a major hub for renewable energy generation. It is also near the proposed 330-kV Project Energy Connect, a 900km above ground high voltage transmission line linking South Australia and New South Wales – Australia’s most populated state.
The interconnector is a partnership between ElectraNet and TransGrid and aims to provide national grid stability and lower electricity prices when completed in 2022.
The Goyder South project is expected to be built in three stages with the first stage to include a third of the wind, solar and battery storage capacity and cost about AUD 1 billion. The second and third stages would be dependent on the construction of Project Energy Connect.
South Australia currently only has interconnection with Victoria, which puts the state at the end of the national electricity grid and makes it vulnerable to supply shortages.
South Australian Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan says Neoen’s Goyder South project highlighted the importance of the SA-NSW interconnector. He says the interconnector would help South Australia reach its goal of net-100% renewables in the 2030s, lower power prices and deliver increased export opportunities for locally produced renewable energy.
“The AUD 1.5 billion SA-NSW interconnector will provide a freeway for renewable energy from South Australia to the eastern seaboard, enabling huge renewables projects such as Goyder South to turn South Australia into an energy powerhouse,” Minister van Holst Pellekaan says.
Neoen owns and operates the 315 MW Hornsdale Wind Farm in South Australia. The 99-turbine wind farm is connected to the 100 MW/129 MWh Hornsdale Power Reserve, which was built by Tesla in 2017 and hailed as the largest lithium-ion battery in the world.
The French company also last month received approval to develop the Crystal Brook Energy Park in South Australia’s Mid North region featuring 125 MW of wind, 150 MW solar and a 130 MW lithium-ion battery.
South Australia already leads the nation in the uptake of wind energy and roof-top solar with renewable sources accounting for more than 50 per cent of the electricity generated in the state.
However, the closure of two coal-fired power stations in recent years has increased South Australia’s reliance on energy supplies from the eastern Australian states, particularly in times of peak demand.