Australian developer plans 2 GW renewables project

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From pv magazine Australia

Australian renewables developer Squadron Energy has filed environmental assessment and scoping report documents with the New South Wales (NSW) planning authority for its proposed 2 GW Koorakee Energy Park (KEP).

The project is to have an installed capacity of 2 GW, comprising 1 GW of PV generation and 1 GW of wind generation, as well as a battery system with a capacity of up to 1 GW and up to 12 hours of storage.

“It is expected that the intended capacity of the project could power up to one third of the households in NSW,” Squadron Energy said in the scoping report.

The project is being developed on a 58,000-hectare site about 70 kilometers southeast of Mildura, near the western end of the planned South West Renewable Energy Zone (SWREZ). The SWREZ has an intended network capacity of 3.8 GW, to be delivered by the eastern section of the proposed Project EnergyConnect 330 kV transmission line, HumeLink, and the NSW side of VNI West.

It is expected the Koorakee Energy Park will connect to connect to the grid via Transgrid’s existing 220 kV Buronga/Balranald transmission line, but the project is to include new transmission infrastructure with a network of underground and overhead powerlines to be installed across a 13,700-hectare development corridor.

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Squadron Energy said it expects to commence construction of the Koorakee Energy Park in late 2025, subject to relevant approvals and project financing, procurement and contracting. The installation is expected to be commissioned during 2028-29.

The project is among a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets being developed by Squadron Energy. Owned by iron ore billionaire Andrew Forrest, Squadron Energy said it has 1.1 GW of renewable energy in operation and 900 MW under construction, and a development pipeline of 20 GW. Among the projects in its pipeline are the 600 MW Gol Gol and 180 MW Sapphire solar farms being developed in NSW and the approved 400 MW Clarke Creek Solar Farm planned for Queensland.

In May 2024, Squadron Energy’s Dubbo Firming Power Station, a AUD 190 million ($125 million) methane gas-fired 20 MW hydrogen electrolysis plant was approved by the NSW Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure and the NSW Independent Planning Commission.

The power plant will be capable of producing 330 kg of hydrogen per hour, and is expected to have a 64 MW capacity and will supply electricity to the grid via the Yarrandale substation on an as-need basis, estimated to be 1,000 hours per year.

Though operating on gas, it will be capable of running on a hydrogen/methane gas blend of up to 25% hydrogen by volume, as well as biofuels.

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