Nine new solar farms and two big batteries proposed for South Australia

The South Australia state energy regulator says it has received proposals for a total of nine new solar farms, two of which will be accompanied by battery storage, to meet the zero emission plans of the state water utility and the state’s capital city.

The Essential Services Commission of South Australia unveiled the proposals on its website this week. All nine solar farms are sized between 2.4MW and 19MW, and are earmarked for a state already sourcing more than half of its electricity from wind and solar, and heading towards net 100 per cent renewables by 2030.

The bulk of the applications come from the state utility S.A. Water, which is in the process of sourcing the equivalent of all its electricity needs from renewables, and particularly co-located solar farms. Its aim is to reach “zero cost” electricity bills as a result of all the solar and battery storage that it  installs across its facilities.

Its list of seven new solar projects submitted to ESCOSA include a 19.24MW solar farm at Bolivar waste treatment plant, a 15.5MW solar farm at the Adelaide Desalination Plant, a 3.675MW solar plant at Glenelg, and four solar plants ranging between 5.5MW and 7.5MW at pump stations along the Morgan to Whyalla pipeline.

The two biggest solar farms will be accompanied by battery storage, with both the Bolivar and the Adelaide desalination facilities to feature 70 battery units for a total of 12.3MWh each. In all, it aims to install a total of 154MW of solar and 34MWh of battery storage

Its principal suppliers for these newly identified projects are JA Solar for the modules, and SMA for the inverters. The supplier for the battery storage units – each of 176kWh – is not identified.

In addition, emerging retailer and business supplier Flow Power is proposing two small solar farms that will form part of its long term power purchase agreement with the City of Adelaide, and its promise to deliver the equivalent of all its electricity consumption from renewables.[1]

The two projects include a 3MW solar farm with a maximum export capacity of 2.4MW at the isolated community of Streaky Bay on the western side of the Eyre Peninsular, and a 4.95MW solar farm with a maximum output of 4.46MW at Coonalpyn, between Tailem Bend and the Victoria border.

Flow Power will take the output from both the Streaky Bay and Coonalpyn facilities to support the deal with the City of Adelaide, which is also taking output from the Clements Gap wind farm in the state’s mid-north.

Both solar farms will feature ground-mount PV Jinko modules, Nextracker single axis trackers, and SMA inverters. Today Solar has been named as the EPC contractor.

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