The Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park (PAREP) is a hybrid solar and wind complex located southeast of Port Augusta in the state of South Australia.
With a total capacity of 317MW, the project is Iberdrola’s first renewable energy complex in the country.
The original proponent of PAREP was Infigen, which was acquired by Iberdrola in 2020. Iberdrola developed the complex with the original developer DP Energy.
PAREP includes a 210MW wind farm and a 107MW photovoltaic plant. The project received approval in 2019 and was completed in September 2021.
The commissioning began in October 2022 after the project was registered on the National Electricity Market Registry by the Australian Energy Market Operator.
The construction phase of the project created around 200 jobs and involved several local and global suppliers.
The hybrid project will fulfil the annual demand of 180,000 Australian households, and help in removing 400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
The plant will also support decarbonisation in South Australia, which aims to achieve a 100% renewable energy system by 2030.
The Port Augusta Hybrid Plant is located about 8km southeast of Port Augusta in the state of South Australia. The project is situated in the coastal region which borders the Southern Flinders Ranges.
Overall, the project covers an area of 5,400ha stretching from Port Paterson in the north, Winninowie in the south, and spans across the A1 Augusta Highway.
The Port Augusta Hybrid Plant produces wind and solar photovoltaic power.
The project’s 210MW wind farm consists of 50 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 4.2MW, while the solar photovoltaic plant features 250,000 solar panels with a total capacity of 107MW.
The installations benefit from the high solar radiation generated in Port Augusta along with the usual strong wind that flows during the day.
The renewable power generated from the wind turbines and solar plant is transferred to the Davenport Substation, situated approximately 4km from the site, through a 275kV transmission line.
From the substation, the electricity will be fed into the South Australian transmission network.
The project development also included the construction of solar panels track, laying of underground and building access roads.
Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park is projected to produce around 900-gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity. It is expected to operate for around 25 years, before it is decommissioned or redeveloped.
Agreements and Contractors
Vestas built and installed all the 4.2MW-unit capacity 50 turbines for the wind farm of the Port Augusta Hybrid facility.
Longi supplied solar panels for the photovoltaic plant, while Sterling&Wilson was responsible for the construction.
Spain’s Elecnor was awarded the contract for building the substation, transmission line, storage areas, and access roads of the project.
NKT Australia provided power cable accessories, cable jointing installation, and high voltage testing services for the 33kV portion of the wind farm network of the project.
Civil and Allied Technical Construction (CATCON) received the contract for constructing BoP civil works for the wind farm of the project. This included earthworks, roadworks, wind turbine generator (WTG) foundations and WTG grouting.
In April 2020, Allen Linklaters announced that it has advised Iberdrola Group on the acquisition of the Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park Stage one hybrid wind and solar project.
EY and Baker & McKenzie were appointed by DP Energy as financial and legal advisors for the hybrid power plant.
In October 2021, mining company BHP announced plans to reduce emissions at Olympic Dam by procuring renewable electricity from the Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park.
According to the announcement, BHP was to become the primary customer of the new renewable facility.
Iberdrola in Australia
In October 2022, Spanish multinational electric utility company Iberdrola unveiled plans to invest up to €3bn in Australia.
The company has already committed more than A$1bn for new renewable growth projects and aims to develop a capacity of 4,000MW in renewable energy in the coming years.