Another major solar+storage project waved through in South Australia

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Another major solar+storage project has received the green light from the South Australian government to move to the development stage. The 280 MW Bungama Solar Farm  collocated with a 140MW/560MWh battery storage facility located near Port Pirie comes with a $650 million price tag.

The project is part of EPS Energy’s gigawatt-scale portfolio of solar+storage projects being developed in the state. Previously, the NSW-based consultants had received the go-ahead for 500 MW of solar PV collocated with 250 MW/1000 MWh of battery storage around five kilometers north-east from Robertstown. EPS Energy said on Friday that the Bungama project, similar to the Robertstown solar farm, had enjoyed an “extraordinary level” of community and government support.

“This planning approval has come on the back of the excellent community, local government and state government support that we have received for these projects” said EPS Energy Director, Steve McCall. “EPS Energy consider the portfolio along with other projects throughout the state as significant for South Australia to continue as a transitional world leader in renewable energy and storage solutions.”

The Bungama Solar Farm will consist of around 800,000 solar panels and will integrate into the National Electricity Market through a 275 kV connection to ElectraNet’s Bungama Substation. The construction phase is expected to generate approximately 275 full time equivalent jobs. Once operational, the solar farm will generate clean energy sufficient to power 86,000 homes.

EPS Energy also has a third project in its South Australian portfolio the Yoorndoo Ilga solar project located near Whyalla. The 200-400 MW utility-scale solar farm coupled with battery storage is still in the early stages of development. JLL and Energy Estate have been appointed as financial advisors for EPS Energy’s 1 GW+ SA portfolio.

The EPS Energy solar and storage portfolio will contribute to improving South Australian power grid reliability and has been strategically located in the transmission network particularly in relation to the proposed interconnector between SA and NSW, the company said in a statement. More big projects are queuing up in the expectation of grid upgrades. For instance, t he Robertstown project is one of the two large scale solar and battery projects in the area, alongside the Solar River Project, which received the development approval mid last year. The facility comprises a 200 MW solar PV and 120 MWh of battery storage, and is likely to add another 200 MW of solar and 150 MWh of battery storage in a second stage if the proposed high-voltage transmission line to Victoria goes ahead.

The connection to Victoria would be added to the proposed $1.5 billion electricity interconnector between Robertstown in SA and Wagga Wagga in NSW. On the other side of the line, Australian-Chinese renewables developer Maoneng said it was preparing an additional 500 MW of solar to be added to the 255 MW Sunraysia project and commissioned in line with the proposed SA/NSW interconnector, together with additional energy storage.