Epic views battery option as part of Mannum Solar Farm expansion


South Australia-headquartered energy infrastructure company Epic Energy will explore the potential to add battery energy storage capacity at its Mannum Solar Farm as work continues on a 39 MWdc expansion of the large-scale solar project in the state’s Riverland region.

Epic Energy, which already owns and operates a 6.8 MWp solar farm at Mannum, around 90 kilometres east of Adelaide, said the company the project is part of the company’s strategy to grow its portfolio of renewable energy assets as part of the transition to a new energy future.

The company, which owns two of South Asutralia’s major gas transmission pipelines as part of a gas network spanning more 1,200kms, has in recent years branched out into renewable energy generation. Its portfolio of renewable infrastructure includes the IKEA Adelaide solar and battery microgrid, and the Timboon West and Yawong wind farms in Victoria’s northwest.

“We are investing in a portfolio of renewable energy assets for our customers, with infrastructure ranging from wind and solar farms to microgrids and standalone storage,” Epic Energy Chief Executive Clive D’Cruz said.

“We also have plans to further build our wind portfolio, with another approximately 120 MW under development in Victoria to add to our existing Timboon West and Yawong Wind Farms.”

The second stage will operate independently of the initial 6.8 MWdc solar farm.

Image: Epic Energy

D’Cruz said the expansion leverages Epic Energy’s expertise to support the energy market’s transition to renewables.

“The Riverland’s consistent sunlight and location on the electricity grid presents a significant opportunity to meet the growing renewable energy needs of industrial customers,” he said.

Epic Energy acquired the initial stage of the Mannum Solar Farm from Chinese-Canadian solar heavyweight Canadian Solar in November 2020, and exercised an the option to purchase the second stage of the project in August, 2022.

The 39 MWdc second stage of the Mannum Solar Farm is expected to commence operations in late 2023. The $50 million (USD 33.5 million) facility will have its own connection to SA Power Networks’ distribution network and will operate independently of the initial 6.8 MWdc solar farm which was commissioned in 2019.

The second stage will utilise bifacial panels, along with Sungrow inverters and a single-axis tracking system while Hengtong Cable Australia has been awarded the cable supply contract.

Construction and the first two years of operations and maintenance will be managed by Enzen Australia.

Epic Energy said the second stage is supported by a power purchase deal with Orora Packaging Solutions which has secured the offtake to help power operations at its glass manufacturing facility at Kingsford near Gawler.

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