Spanish Energy company, Iberdrola, has announced that construction at Australia’s largest hybrid wind and solar farm has begun. The 317 MW hybrid farm near Port Augusta is the company’s first greenfields project in Australia. The US$500 million Port Augusta Renewable Energy Project, featuring 207MW of wind generation and 110MW of solar is located near the former site of South Australia’s last coal-fired power station, along with the 220MW Bungala solar farm and the 214MW Lincoln Gap wind and battery projects that have helped replace it. It is also located in the heart of the electorate of state energy minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan, who wants the state to reach its target of “net 100 percent renewables” by 2030.
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Iberdrola bought the project from DP Energy, which has been working on developing the project for years and will remain involved until completion. The two main suppliers for the Port Augusta project are Vestas, which will install 50 wind turbines with a 4.2 MW capacity, and Longi, which will deliver nearly 250,000 solar PV panels. Elecnor will construct the storage areas and access roads, as well as delivering the export transmission line, the substation, and wind farm Balance of Plant. India’s Sterling & Wilson will construct the solar farm. Iberdrola says around 200 jobs will be supported during the construction of the Port Augusta project, with 20 full-time jobs based on-site once construction is completed in 2021. It will generate enough clean energy to power the equivalent of 180,000 Australian homes.
Port Augusta will showcase a new generation of renewables designed to provide predictable power more uniformly across the day. “The project’s combined solar and wind generation output through the hybrid farm is expected to closely match the electricity demand profile of South Australia profile which will help place downwards pressure on electricity prices while also assisting with the security and reliability of the grid,” he said. “These regional renewable energy projects are an example of how the State Government is delivering on its vision for South Australia to achieve 100% net renewable energy by 2030.”