November 15, 2018 Read More →

Developers push 4GW solar-wind-storage project in Australia

Renew Economy:

Australian renewable energy developers Energy Estate and MirusWind are proposing to build a 4,000MW (4GW) wind, solar and storage facility in New South Wales that will be the biggest single renewable energy project in Australia’s main grid.

Energy Estate founder Simon Currie – a former head of energy at legal firm Norton Rose Fulbright – says the region has excellent wind and solar resources, and is close to the backbone of the transmission system and the coal plants in the Hunter Valley that are scheduled to be closed from 2022.

The plan is to combine the wind and solar, and add in storage such as pumped hydro and batteries, and create a new substation and “renewable energy hub” near the town of Uralla. The proponents say this will ease congestion in the grid, and fits in with plans outlined by Transgrid, the NSW government and the Australian Energy Market Operator, to create the infrastructure to support a major renewable energy zone – one of many planned across the main grid as the country shifts to renewables.

“This multi-technology opportunity will supply low-cost, firmed, renewable energy to NSW customers,” the companies said in a statement. “The recent dramatic falls in the cost of new wind and solar generation means this is now the right time to move ahead with a project of this size and impact in NSW.”

The Walcha Energy Project is by the far the biggest single renewable energy project proposed for the National Electricity Market, and beaten only in scale by the 11GW wind and solar project proposed by CWP, Macquarie, Vestas and others in W.A.s remote Pilbara region, where the output is designed for export to Asia and to support local manufacturing and other industry. The first stage of the project could be up to 1GW of wind and 400MW of solar, and is expected to begin construction in 2020, delivering its first output by 2022 – when the Liddell coal generator is scheduled for closure. Most of the early development will be wind, with solar also increasing over time along with storage.

“The time is now right,” said Currie. “This is not about the renewable energy target any more, this is the next wave of low-cost renewables, and it is close to load centres. This will stand on its own two feet on economics alone.”

More: Massive 4GW wind and solar and storage project proposed for NSW

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