A massive solar-plus-storag project with a $1.17 billion price tag (US$822 million) has been waved through by the South Australian government. The facility will feature 500 MW (AC) of solar PV generation capacity collocated with 250 MW/1,000 MWh of battery storage around five kilometers northeast of Robertstown.
The power station will be built in stages and connected to the Robertstown substation via 275 kV transmission lines. A previous assessment has determined the facility could export energy to the grid without significant restraint, but it will potentially incorporate synchronous condensers to support reliability and security of supply.
According to EPS Energy, the Robertstown project is on track to break ground in the middle of next year and generate around 275 jobs during construction and 15 or so full-time jobs once operational. When commissioned, the facility will generate enough electricity to power 144,000 homes during its 30-year life.
For EPS, the Robertstown project is one of several large scale solar and battery storage schemes in its gigawatt-scale portfolio. The company’s South Australian pipeline includes the Bungama Solar project – a proposed 280 MW generation capacity and battery project near Port Pirie – and the Yoorndoo Ilga Solar project, a 200-400 MW solar capacity and battery facility near Whyalla.
The Robertstown plant is one of two large scale solar and battery plans in the area, along with the Solar River Project which received development approval a year ago. That facility comprises a 200 MW solar generation plant plus 120 MWh of battery storage and is likely to add another 200 MW of solar and a further 150 MWh of battery storage in a second stage if a proposed high-voltage transmission line to Victoria goes ahead.