For South Australia, two new massive solar cell and accumulator storage projects have been proposed and the continued dynamics of new investments that are likely to see the state producing the 100 percent equivalent of its electricity needs with wind and solar power in 2025.
One of the new projects – a $ 1.2 billion proposal for a 500 MW solar photovoltaic power plant, to be accompanied by a 250MW / 1000MWh battery – has an intermittent coverage in the state approval process.
The request was submitted by Energy Projects Solar Pty Ltd's consultants and is designed for a site just east of Robertstown, about 115 km northeast of Adelaide.
The same company is also proposing a solar farm and battery accumulation of 280 MW near Port Pirie, known as the Bungam solar project.
It is said that the Robertstown Solar project – subject to funding – is likely to be built in four stages and the storage capacity of the battery will also be built. Synchronous capacitors can also be installed if necessary by the network and network operator.
The Robertstown Solar project is a competitor of another Robertstown project, known as Solar River project, which is dedicated to solar PV 200MW and 120MWh batteries and which could add 200MW of solar and 150MWh batteries in the second stage.
These two projects join the next ten cases of solar and storage designs in the state, which are at various stages of construction and design.
These include the Bungala solar project, which completed the first 120MW stage and almost completed the second 120MW stage, the 110MW Tailem Bend solar project has not yet been completed and a 280 MW Cultan solar project designed by Whyalla Steel owner Sanjeev Gupta and Simc Zen Energy.
South Australia has more than 50% of wind power and solar cells in its network, mostly wind (44%) and roof solar cell (7-8%).
This share increases as more projects appear. Gupta himself proposes 1GW of solar power and storage in the state to help force Whyalla and other major energy users and AEMO predicted that by 2026/27 sufficient wind and solar resources could be built to generate more than it is consumed in state.
AEMO and the local ElectraNet network operator want to build a new NSW connector that would facilitate the flow of electricity to and from South Australia and other countries.
The Robertstown and then Solar River projects seemed to be designed with that in mind. Connections supported by AEMO and ElectraNet will be launched near Roberstown Station and will cross Wagga Wagga. A number of other projects are being proposed for the other end of the NSW line and between them.
In southern Australia, in addition to a significant amount of designed battery storage, five different locations for pumped water plants are being considered, and SolarReserve is still working on the Solar Tower design and salt storage at Augusta Harbor.
The Robertstown solar project is designed for soil cultivation and grazing. Challenges to developers and project consultants were not returned. Robertstown anticipated the completion of its project within 6 years of approval, while Solar River is about to begin construction this year and end in two years.