Leading Australasian renewable energy operator Tilt Renewables has today announced advances in two new renewable energy projects for South Australia.
A new 300 MW, 1350MWh pumped hydro energy storage project at Highbury is moving to the approvals phase; and a grant of more than $7 million has been announced from SA’s Renewable Technology Fund to support development of the Snowtown North Solar Farm and Battery Energy Storage System Project.
“Together, these projects will make a meaningful contribution to the State’s renewable energy and security of supply targets and economic priorities,” said Tilt Renewables Chief Executive Deion Campbell.
The projects also reinforce Tilt Renewables’ long term commitment to the South Australian electricity market and associated support of local communities.
“We have already invested close to $1B in SA and are well placed to help the State continue to lead the world in integrating large scale intermittent renewable generation technology,” Mr Campbell said.
At an event hosted by Tilt Renewables today at the site of the Highbury project, South Australia’s Energy Minister, the Hon. Tom Koutsantonis congratulated Tilt renewables for the success of their application to the Renewable Technology Fund and for their vision in the development of these cutting edge renewable energy projects.
Approximately 200 site staff will be employed during the 12-month construction of the Snowtown facility and up to 300 people over 30 months at Highbury.
“Clearly today Tilt Renewables has taken two steps towards achieving its vision to be a leading developer and owner of renewable electricity generation assets and I am proud of the team that has worked to get the business to this stage with these projects,” added Deion Campbell.
Tilt Renewables is looking forward to working with its project partners, the South Australian Government and the local communities to bring these two exciting projects to life.
Highbury Pumped Hydro Energy Storage Project
Tilt Renewables is entering the planning approval phase for the pumped hydro facility on the site of a decommissioned quarry in Highbury, 14km north east of the Adelaide CBD.
The site at the old Highbury Quarry is currently owned by project partner Holcim Australia and ceased quarrying operations in 2009. The site offers a number of attributes making it ideal for a pumped hydro development, including existing reservoir and road infrastructure, and straight forward connection to the grid.
A pumped hydro storage scheme works by pumping water from a lower reservoir to an upper reservoir during periods of low energy prices. It can then generate power when electricity demand is high, by releasing gravity-fed water from the upper reservoir through generators and back to the lower reservoir, for the cycle to begin again.
Tilt Renewables Deion Campbell says pumped hydro has always been a key component of an electricity system because it allows renewable electricity to be stored and used when required, without introducing carbon into the equation.
“We see this project as a real winner for the South Australian community. Not only will we be able to support energy security and contribute to reducing power price volatility, we’ll also have the option to open up some of the 350 hectare site for public recreational use with potential for walking trails, picnic areas and outdoor activities.”
Snowtown Solar and Storage Project
The grant of $7,125,000 from the SA Renewable Technology Fund will support development of Tilt Renewable’s Snowtown North Solar Farm and Battery Energy Storage System Project.
The $90 million project will be built alongside Tilt Renewables existing wind farms at Snowtown and deliver a new 44MW solar farm and a 21 MW, 26 MWh battery energy storage system. The energy generated will be injected into the national electricity grid via the existing 100MW Snowtown Stage 1 Wind Farm substation.
The new solar energy farm will consist of up to 180,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and will be located on 100 ha of cleared farming land next to the existing Snowtown Stage 1 Wind Farm substation.
Deion Campbell said the Snowtown development demonstrates that the integration of the right mix of existing technologies in a modern renewable electricity system, can provide flexibility and security of supply and that co-location can greatly increase asset utilisation and overall system efficiency.
“When complete, the new infrastructure will be part of the biggest co-located wind, solar and battery facility in Australasia.”
“By combining wind energy (with typically an evening peak at this site) and solar energy (with a daytime peak), the two assets can combine to better match daily electricity demands, with the battery reducing the effect of short term variability from the two renewable generation technologies” Mr Campbell added.
Mr Campbell welcomed the grant from the South Australian government, “with this solar and battery project, Tilt Renewables will be able to increase the utilisation of existing infrastructure at Snowtown and clearly demonstrate how we see the potential for various components of a renewable generation based electricity system to work together, improving energy security, reliability and efficiency”.