A massive hybrid solar-wind farm is in the works for South Australia, with Spanish company Iberdrola committing more than $500 million to the development. The construction will fall under the responsibility of Irish firm DP Energy. The funding boost comes as a major step forward for the project, which has seen recent delays.
Known as the Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park (PAREP), the development will commence in mid-2020, despite hopes from DP Energy that it would have commenced back in 2017. Unfortunately, the project saw delays due to arrangements that were required for transmission connections.
The first of its kind for Iberdrola in Australia, the project features 320MW in renewables and will be a unique one for the company’s pipeline of projects, with others still in the early stages of planning.
According to the Financial Review, country manager Fernando Santamaria said it’s exciting that Iberdrola have chosen PAREP for their initial investment in Australia.
“…we are enthusiastic to see the project commence construction,” added Simon De Pietro, DP Energy’s chief executive.
The development will contribute to South Australia’s current solar resources and thermal winds located at the point of Spencer Gulf. These are currently generated by the rising temperatures between sea and land throughout the day. A total of 210MW in capacity will be from wind power, while 110MW will come from solar power.
In the early evenings, wind energy is predicted to peak, joining forces with the solar generation at midday. This results in a much more seamless generation of electricity demand across the day, in comparison to what a solar-exclusive or wind-exclusive plant would deliver.
More jobs on offer
The development will also welcome up to 200 regional jobs in construction, according to South Australian Minister for Energy and Mining Dan Van Holst Pellekaan.
Producing around 900 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually, the farm will power approximately 18,000 homes across the state.
The hybrid farm will also be tied to the national electricity network through the substation at Port Augusta. Expected to be completed in 18 months, forecasts have earmarked the end of 2021 for the launch.
DP Energy has already developed a number of renewable projects, totalling more than 400MW. Meanwhile, its impressive pipeline still sits 2000MW more in developments, set to be positioned across Ireland, Canada and Australia.