ZEN Energy has launched a new 1GW renewable generation program to meet demand from the industrial users in South Australia.

The company has approved a strategic plan to develop a 1GW of additional dispatchable renewable generation assets to support long-term electricity supply contracts with South Australia’s industrial users such as Liberty OneSteel Whyalla Steelworks.

ZEN Energy has carried out the first board meeting in Adelaide following Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance acquisition of a 50.1% stake in the company.

Sanjeev has assumed the role of chairman, while outgoing chairman Ross Garnaut will serve as president for the company’s board.

Under the program, the company will develop a 200MW of solar PV capacity, including 80MW in the Whyalla Council industrial area and 120MW on adjacent land owned by Liberty OneSteel.

The program also includes 100MW/100MWh battery project at Port Augusta., as well as 100MW of demand response at the Whyalla Steelworks and other South Australian sites.

In addition, the firm will develop 120MW/600MWh pumped hydro storage facility at a disused iron ore mine pit in the Middleback Ranges.

The company will install an additional 480MW of solar capacity to support the expansion of industrial capacity in Whyalla and industrial loads in South Australia.

ZEN Energy chairman Sanjeev Gupta said: “These first steps in SA will improve reliability and greatly reduce costs of electricity in our own steelworks at Whyalla, and provide competitive sources of power for other industrial and commercial users.

“This will be followed by early steps to lower Liberty OneSteel’s electricity costs in NSW and Victoria, and to provide power at lower cost to other industrial enterprises in these states and Queensland.”

Image: The ZEN Energy board discuss the Gigawatt Program at its board meeting in Adelaide. Photo: courtesy of ZEN Energy.