Canadian investor plans 1.3 GW renewable energy hub in South Australia


From pv magazine Australia

Amp Energy, a Toronto-based clean energy investment firm, has revealed plans to invest more than AUD 2 billion ($1.5 billion) to create the 1.3 GW Renewable Energy Hub of South Australia (REHSA), which will include the Spencer Gulf Hydrogen Energy Ecoplex, which forms part of the South Australian state government’s hydrogen action plan. 

The hub will include large-scale solar, wind, and battery energy storage assets in South Australia. It will also feature three solar projects at Robertstown (636 MW), Bungama (336 MW), and Yoorndoo Ilga (388 MW), supported by a total energy storage capacity of 540 MW. 

Two of the projects will form part of a plan to generate hydrogen for both the domestic and export markets from the Spencer facility to ports in Asia where Amp Energy already has operations. South Australia set out plans for green hydrogen hubs in November 2020. It also revealed plans for hubs centred on Port Bonython, Cape Hardy/Port Spencer and Port Adelaide, as well as a blue-hydrogen hub using natural gas extracted from the Cooper Basin, processed in the vicinity of Moomba, and exported through Port Bonython.

The Port Bonython green hub will be based on 2.3-6.5 GW of renewable energy capacity to feed 1.2-2.5 GW of electrolyzers. The Cape/Hardy Port Spencer green hub assumes 1.1-61 GW of generation to feed 0.6-2.6 GW of electrolyzer capacity, at 75% of electrolyzer utilization, to allow for intermittent supply.

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The Canadian outfit is not wasting any time with the massive investment. It has already secured development and land approvals for both the Robertstown and Bungama projects, and has set an energization date in late 2022. It says the two projects alone will create 550 full-time jobs during the construction phase. 

Robertstown, which is the location for the 636 MW project, is ideally placed for the planned New South Wales-South Australia Interconnector. The 900 km, 330 kV line is set to connect the South Australia and New South Walkes power grids for the first time. 

”The strategic value of the South Australian portfolio is significant in a jurisdiction which is undergoing one of the most rapid energy transitions in the world,” said Dean Cooper, executive vice president and head of Amp Australia.

South Australia Minister for Trade and Investment Stephen Patterson welcomed the prospect of the REHSA. “South Australia has significant land mass and world-class wind and solar resources, with aspirations of reaching net 100% renewable energy generation by 2030,” he said. “The Renewable Energy Hub of South Australia will be fundamental in integrating our state’s renewable energy storage assets and building our capability and supporting the fast-moving energy transitions we’re experiencing.”

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