DP Energy secures approval to develop 375MW of solar, wind in Australia

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David Blake, DP Energy’s Australia director, told PV Magazine that the company has yet to select a solar module supplier, but said that it will only source panels from a Tier-1 manufacturer.

The Cork-based developer expects to start building the project, which will include 175MW of solar and 200MW of wind capacity, in the second quarter of 2017.

It will commission the site — located near the Northern Power Station, a coal-fired plant that was shut down in May — at some point between late 2018 and the middle of 2019.

The Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park is expected to eventually generate roughly 1,000GWh of electricity per year, or enough to cater to the needs of approximately 200,000 homes.

DP Energy said that differences between land and sea temperatures at the project site ensure that the wind resource regularly peaks in the early evening.

Blake claimed that the complementary combination of turbines and panels “to some extent negates the need for storage,” but added that DP Energy is still considering a number of potential solutions, based on what he described as a “broader need for storage, particularly in South Australia.”

The company expects the project — one of the biggest hybrid wind/solar projects in the southern hemisphere — to create 250 construction jobs and up to 20 ongoing jobs after the site is commissioned.