‘Largest rooftop solar farm in Australia’ part of CEP.Energy battery project

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CEP.Energy has announced plans to build a 24 MW rooftop solar farm and a grid-scale battery with capacity of up to 150 MW on the site of the former Holden car manufacturing plant at Elizabeth in South Australia. CEP said the 200,000 square metre rooftop solar farm would be the largest in Australia.

The renewable energy fund has signed a 45-year lease agreement with the Pelligra Group, the current owners of the iconic former GMH factory site – now known as the Lionsgate Business Park – and intends to begin construction on the $200 million solar+battery project in early 2022.

CEP.Energy CEO Peter Wright said the 122-hectare Lionsgate Business Park was an ideal site for a big battery which would replace the existing temporary diesel generation on site, with clean, cost-effective electricity for Australian businesses.

“The Lionsgate site is zoned industrial and has the all-important existing grid connection capacity,” he said.

“Large-scale storage within the South Australian distribution network will assist with the management of local network voltages and solar supply peaks and troughs.

“Pelligra’s vision for the Lionsgate Business Park fits perfectly with the CEP’S business strategy to stimulate new jobs and economic activity in major manufacturing and commercial hubs by reducing operating costs.”

The Lionsgate solar+battery project announcement comes just weeks after CEP unveiled plans to build the world’s largest grid-scale battery in New South Wales, a 1.2 GW megabattery at Kurri Kurri in the Hunter Valley region.

At 1.2 GW, CEP.Energy’s Hunter Big Battery is the biggest proposed battery in the world.

Image: CEP.Energy

The Lionsgate and Kurri Kurri batteries form part of a 2 GW battery storage portfolio CEP – which finances, builds, owns and operates renewable energy microgrids and virtual power plants (VPPs) in partnership with property portfolio groups – has planned for Australia.

“CEP’s grid-scale battery network is part of our dual-track strategy to generate and store clean, reliable and cost-effective electricity for Australian businesses,” Wright said, “and make excess power available to the national grid to firm up the increase in renewable generation.”

Wright has previously said CEP is aiming to have 1.5 GW of solar and 400 MW of battery energy storage within five years providing a steady flow of low-cost energy for commercial, retail and industrial tenants across the country.

South Australian Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the Lionsgate Energy Storage System was a “fantastic initiative” and would transform the former Holden manufacturing site.

“The combination of a large solar array, grid-scale battery and virtual power plant on a large industrial site fits perfectly with our government’s energy policy,” he said.

“This style of project will deliver value for the tenants as well as all other South Australian electricity consumers by reducing peak demand on the grid.”

Pelligra Group chairman Ross Pelligra said the partnership with CEP was a key component in a plan to attract companies to the former car manufacturing site.

“Our plan is to develop a centre for the next generation of industrial businesses driven by rapid developments in skills and technology,’’ he said.

“The agreement with CEP for the on-site battery will deliver Lionsgate tenants cost-effective energy generated on the roof-tops above.”

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