The combination of renewable energy companies innovating, assessing authorities taking a pragmatic approach to design detail for large-scale projects and a regional community embracing new technology as an economic driver means that Port Augusta has a bright future.
Following the initial Development Approval of DP Energy’s Renewable Energy Park in 2016 which comprised a hybrid wind and solar farm, URPS has provided continued planning support for a second stage comprising a large scale solar farm with battery storage and grid support.
The combined stages will create one of the largest hybrid renewable energy projects in the Southern Hemisphere. Stage 1 comprises 59 wind turbines and almost 400 hectares of solar photovoltaic arrays generating up to 375MW of electricity and Stage 2 comprises up to 500MW of additional solar photovoltaic generation, 400MW of battery storage and 3,000MW seconds of synchronous condenser capacity to be built.
The hybrid nature of the development takes advantage of the difference in wind and solar resources in this location. The site’s peak power generation matches the peak demand across South Australia, generating enough power for approximately 200,000 homes.
The State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP) adopted a pragmatic view in considering the detail within the application for such a large scale development. The considerable body of work prepared by DP Energy and its sub-consultants to manage vegetation removal, the visual impact of the development, noise, aviation impacts, traffic and heritage matters was acknowledged. The SCAP also understood the need for flexibility within the final design, no doubt cognisant of the substantial separation distances from dwellings and public roads.
The development application was also supported by the Port Augusta City Council and had only three representations from residents.
It is fantastic to see such wide ranging support as Port Augusta transitions to a clean energy future.