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DP Energy receives OK for the Port Augusta renewable energy park

Staff Writer |
DP Energy’s Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park has received Development Approval from the South Australian Government.

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Once fully commissioned, the Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park will generate approximately 1,000 gigawatt hours (GWh) of clean renewable energy directly into the national electricity grid per year, enough to power about 200,000 homes and save 470,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

Located near the former Northern Power Station, the project will create much-needed employment in the energy sector for the Port Augusta region.

The development application was approved following significant consultation with the relevant government agencies, consideration of public submissions and detailed advice from the Development Assessment Commission, an independent statutory authority.

South Australia is recognised nationally as a leader in renewable energy, with about 35 per cent of Australia’s installed wind-generated power.

Approval enables delivery of one of the largest and most significant hybrid renewable energy projects in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the installation of some 59 wind turbines and almost 400 hectares of solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays for a combined generation capacity of up to 375 MW.

This one project will make a material contribution to South Australia achieving its low carbon investment target of $10 billion by 2025.

The project’s added significance turns on its unique generation profile: the wind resource is primarily driven by the temperature difference between the land and sea rather than by weather systems, and hence exhibits a regular early evening peak which is well aligned with the daily peak demand for electricity.

This effect is also strongest in the summer when temperature differences are at their greatest, meaning that annual energy generation also peaks when it is most needed.

When this evening wind generation temperature effect is coupled with large-scale solar generation (which has a midday peak) a good match to overall demand can be achieved thereby supporting the electricity network and placing downward pressure on wholesale prices.

“The Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park represents a new breed of renewable energy generation which will deliver the right power at the right time for energy consumers, and deliver economic benefit to the region and the State,” Mr De Pietro said.

The project CAPEX is estimated to be approximately $680M, and will create 250 jobs over construction – peaking at some 600 over the height of that phase of the development, and 15-20 ongoing jobs.

The build will involve using local SA businesses wherever possible, an approach that DP Energy adopts across all the jurisdictions within which it operates.

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