Santos petrol processing plant now powered by solar PV, thanks to AGL

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Solar continues to prove itself a low-cost energy option for major energy players in Australia. With natural gas on tap, it still make sense for major energy players like Santos to turn to solar PV.

The latest system, unveiled by Santos and AGL on Wednesday, is set to provide more than 3 GWh of electricity every year, enough to power more than 500 average Australian homes and at least 6% of the Port Bonython plant’s annual usage.

AGL Interim Chief Customer Officer Mark Enzinger commended the project’s safe and timely completion. “We are proud to have completed this project which helps Santos deliver on its strategy of integrating renewable energy into its sites to lower costs and reduce its carbon footprint,” said Enzinger.

According to Enzinger, the system, “consists of 62 array tables of solar modules, each weighing about six tonnes, and covers 14,500 square metres in total… The modules were mounted using an innovative array table system which combines modular design, prefabrication and rapid deployment, streamlining engineering and procurement and transferring cost, time and risk from the construction site to the factory.”

AGL also followed through on its promise to tap local solar PV suppliers, as Enzinger indicated, “the solar panel mounting system was manufactured in Adelaide, the inverter station in Melbourne, and the installation carried out by workers from Whyalla.”

Santos Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Gallagher noted that Santos now as a proven track record of integrating renewables into its operational sites. “This solar installation at Port Bonython is our biggest demonstration yet of how we can work with renewables to not only reduce our carbon emissions but to also free up more gas for the domestic markets,” Mr Gallagher said.

This ALG project represents a solid stepping stone for Santos on its way to achieving its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Author: Blake Matich