Adani, a company better known for its coal mining has proposed another solar PV farm. It seems that even Adani can see that the world is moving away from fossil fuels toward renewable energy. Adani's Internet site states that they have lodged a Development Approval application. I believe they are working toward a $250 million 160 MW solar power station.
And Sanjeev Gupta, who heads GFG Alliance the company that has taken over the Whyalla steelworks and has bought a controlling interest in Zen Energy, plans a renewable energy development involving solar power and pumped hydro energy storage.
Nyngan Solar Farm was the biggest in
Australia at the time of writing, but the proposed solar farm at Whyalla will be bigger, and Bungala solar farm (now completed) at Port Augusta, is bigger again, at 275 MW DC, 220 MW AC.
Between Whyalla and Port Augusta
Ross Garnaut and Zen Energy have proposed a similar development in the same area.
A group in the Australian National University, headed by Professor Andrew Blakers, is also looking into the potential for pumped hydro energy storage in Australia.
Pictured at the right is one of a very few hydro-power stations combined with pumped-hydro energy storage currently in Australia (it is in NSW, not South Australia).
When electricity is plentiful and cheap it is used to pump water from the lower to the upper storage, in effect storing the energy from the electricity in the water. When demand increases or generation declines, the water is allowed back down through the turbines to generate more electricity.
Some 97% of the world's energy storage in 2017 is in the form of pumped hydro. The main advantage that batteries have over pumped storage is that a big battery bank can be built in six months, while a pumped storage system will take something like three years. In a nation like Australia, with no effective energy policies coming from the federal governments, the long-term planning needed for new pumped hydro projects has been sadly lacking.
The people and council of Port Augusta have for years pressed for the construction of a solar thermal power station with energy storage. (I took part in walk of over 300km from Port Augusta to Adelaide with a group of about 70 people, organised by the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, back in 2012 to push for a solar thermal power station.)
There is a proposed windfarm nearby, the
Port Augusta Renewable Energy
It is intended to have a maximum generating capacity of 375 MW and
will combine wind turbines with solar PV.
Bungala solar farm, Port Augusta
Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park, including wind farm
Renew Power was intending to start construction of a further 90 MW of solar PV in SA and NSW in the same year, 2018.
It is to cover 15 ha and is expected to generate "more than 10,000 MWh" annually. Construction was expected to start by June 2018 and take 16 weeks. Renew Power Group director, Kevin Heydt, was reported as saying that "We are confident it will be up and running this year".
ARENA (Australian Renewable ENergy Agency) has partly funded this project.
Tilt Renewables has announced a $100 million 50 MW solar farm to be built close to the wind farm.
Tilt representatives state that wind tends to decline during the middle of the day, causing wind power generation also to fall off. They have calculated that the output of the solar farm, which will reach its maximum in the middle of the day, will keep generation up right through the day.
Wineries in the north
The Lead reported back in December 2016 that Yalumba Wine Company was installing 1.4MW of solar in the Barossa Valley and that "wineries with systems in excess of 100kW include D’Arenberg, Seppeltsfield, Peter Lehmann, Angove, Torbreck, Wirra Wirra, Jim Barry and Gemtree." (Several of these are in the Barossa Valley, Jim Barry's is in the Clare Valley. They missed Kilikanoon.)
French company Neoen has proposed the Crystal Brook Energy Park that will combine 34 wind turbines (with a total capacity of up to 136 MW) with a solar farm of 50-100 MW and a big battery with a power capacity of 30-100 MW. One of the many positives of this project is the $80,000 per year that Neoen have promised for community projects.
A 50 MW energy to hydrogen electrolyser is also proposed. It is expected to produce 20-25 tonnes of hydrogen each day.
Two small pockets of negativity
I authored a leaflet in support of the Energy Park that a friend, my wife and I distributed in Crystal Brook in late July 2017 (I have a house in the town). Interestingly all of the feedback from that leaflet was positive.
The opponents seem not to care about climate change, ocean acidification and the huge number of deaths and illnesses due to the air pollution resulting from the burning of fossil fuels.
Largely as a consequence of my being blocked from the opposition page I started the Northern SA – Leading Australia Facebook Page. I have also written about why I personally support the Energy Park.
|Bungala||Pt Augusta||Solar PV||275||Biggest in Australia as of late 2019|
|Clements Gap||Mid North, Crystal Brook||Wind||57||A small wind farm providing a generous|
level of community funding
|Coober Pedy||Far North||Wind and solar PV||4MW wind, 2MW solar PV||Off grid remote area power supply|
|Hallett group||Mid North, Jamestown/Burra||Wind||351||Several wind farms in one area|
|Hornsdale||Mid North, Jamestown/Burra||Wind with big battery||315||Battery capacity 100MW/129MWh|
|Lincoln Gap||Port Augusta||Wind with battery||212||Proposed 10MW/?MWh battery|
|Snowtown||Mid North||Wind – soon to include solar PV||371||The most productive wind farm in Australia|
|Sundrop Farms||Port Augusta||Solar thermal||?||Powering a huge greenhouse project|
|Waterloo||Mid North, Clare||Wind||129||Interesting history in regard to fires and wind turbines|
|Unnamed||Port Pirie||Solar PV||Three projects, about 5MW each||Renew Power Group and others|
|Whyalla Solar Farm||Whyalla||Solar PV||First 6 of 150||The first 6MW stage is operating|
|Willogoleche||Mid North, Jamestown/Burra||Wind||119||Fifth wind farm of the Hallett group|
|1414 Degrees||Pt Augusta||Solar PV with storage||?||Solar PV with heat storage in molten silicon|
|Barn Hill||Mid North||Wind||Up to 200||Between Clements Gap and Snowtown WFs|
|Bungama||Port Pirie||Solar and battery||280MW solar, battery 140MW/560MWh||EPS Energy. Approved July 2019|
|Chaff Mill Solar Farm||Mid North||Solar PV||Up to 125||Mintaro solar PV|
|Crystal Brook Energy Park||Mid North||Wind, solar, battery, hydrogen||125 wind, up to 150 solar PV. Battery up to 130MW, 400MWh. 20-25 tonnes hydrogen per day||Perhaps the most innovative project in Australia as of early 2018. Has received government approval. Building to start about June 2021?|
|Goyder Renewables Zone||Burra||Wind and solar||Up to 3,000||To be built in several stages|
|Lincoln Gap expansion||Port Augusta||Wind and battery||252MW and 10MW/10MWh battery||The turbines could be the biggest in Australia|
|Port Augusta||Port Augusta||Wind||Up to 177?||Proposed|
|Whyalla steelworks||NE Eyre Peninsula||Solar PV, battery, pumped hydro||200MW solar, 120MW pumped hydro, 100MW battery, 1GW total dispatchable||Whyalla, Port Augusta|
Sanjeev Gupta, GFG Alliance, Zen Energy
|Pumped hydro||Northern SA||Energy storage||Undecided||At least three projects under consideration|
A part of Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park
Photo taken using my Mavik Mini drone.
Sundrop Farm can be seen on the far right. (Click on the image to see in high resolution.)
At the time of writing this section Wikipedia was listing Coopers Gap Wind Farm (453MW) as the biggest in Australia. The completion of the second stage of Lincoln Gap put that wind farm up to 212MW. A third stage is proposed; if built it will bring the capacity up to 464MW, bigger than Coopers Gap.
Goyder Renewables Zone, a combined wind-solar-battery project proposed by Neoen near Burra is to have up to a colossal 2000MW of wind power and 1000MW of solar. I've recently been told that construction of the first stage, Goyder South, is to start in April.
Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park (pictured above), 210MW wind and 107MW solar power, is built and awaiting connection to the grid. (More information on another page.)
ConclusionsBlind Freddy could see that renewable energy is the way of the future; it must be if we are to combat climate change and ocean acidification and reduce the huge number of deaths and illnesses due to the air pollution resulting from the burning of fossil fuels. It is reasuring that most of the people who live in the northern parts of South Australia must also be able to see that because they are overwhelmingly accepting of the developments and proposed developments.
Obviously, renewable energy developments have brought, and continues to bring, a lot of much-needed economic activity and employment to the northern parts of South Australia; the people of most of the region appreciate this.
It is fortunate that the decision about the Crystal Brook Energy Park is up to state government and not the stick-in-the-mud Port Pirie councillors or those few selfish local people who seem unable to appreciate anything beyond their own visual preferences.
On this siteHow should Australia generate its electricity?
Base load power: the facts
Hydrogen and energy; the advantages, implications and challenges
Impressive renewable energy developments in Australia
Mid-North South Australia, leading the nation in renewable energy
Necessary change: embrace it or resist it?
Pumped hydro energy storage
SA's successful adoption of renewables
Toward 100% renewable energy
Wind power in Australia
Climate change, natural disasters and what we should be doing
Major threatened disasters compared
Greatest crime in history
The end of coal
The Turnbull Australian Government
Why I support the local wind farm
On the InternetJay Weatherill talks about South Australia's journey to a renewable-energy future; Robert McLean's Podcast. Jay's speech corresponded very well with my memory of developments; it entirely lacked the lies heard from the likes of Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison.
Life after coal: the South Australian city leading the way; The Guardian, Adam Morton, 2018/07/20
United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction report: The human cost of weather-related disasters 1995-2015.
Renew Economy; AGL ridicules Coalition request to keep Liddell [coal-fired power station] open extra 5 years.
The Conversation; Why coal-fired power stations need to shut on health grounds, David Shearman, 2016/11/28.
The Uninhabitable Earth, Annotated Edition, by David Wallace-Wells, New York Magazine.
AGL's statement on the Liddell closure
Bungala solar farm, Port Augusta
Hornsdale Power Reserve
List of projects
Morrison makes a fool of himself
Bungala solar farm, Port Augusta
Still leading Australia
Whyalla to Port Augusta
Wineries in the north