Ireland’s DP Energy has secured approval from the South Australian government for the development of 375MW Port Augusta wind/solar hybrid facility in the region.

Located near the former Northern Power Station, the Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park will feature 59 wind turbines and almost 400ha of photovoltaic panels.

Expected to cost about A$680m ($517.8m), the project will harness solar and wind energy resources to generate approximately 1,000 gigawatt hours (GWh) of clean energy required to power about 200,000 homes. It will create 250 jobs during construction phase.

DP Energy CEO Simon De Pietro said: “The state has great natural resources in both wind and sun coupled with a clear regulatory framework, an excellent case management service (through Investment Attraction South Australia), and a professional and independent planning assessment process (through the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure and the Development Assessment Commission).

“These factors have been invaluable in helping DP Energy to navigate the necessary approvals and bring this project to reality.”

Te Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park, which is expected to save 470,000t of CO2 emissions annually, will contribute to the South Australia government’s efforts to reach low carbon investment target of $10bn by 2025.

Pietro added: “The Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park represents a new breed of renewable energy generation which will deliver the right power at the right time for energy consumers, and deliver economic benefit to the region and the State.”

The project involves generation of power by harnessing wind resource, which is driven by the temperature difference between the land and sea, to meet early evening peak demand.

The evening wind generation temperature will be coupled with midday peak with large-scale solar generation to meet electricity demand while reducing pressure on wholesale prices.

DP Energy plans to commence construction of the project at the end of the first quarter in 2017 and complete by the end of 2018.


Image: DP Energy will build the 375MW Port Augusta wind/solar hybrid facility near the former Northern Power Station in Southern Australia. Photo: courtesy of DP Energy.