Giant Australian renewables park gets approval
A combined wind and solar park in Southern Australia has been approved by the government.
DP Energy’s Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park will generate approximately 1,000GWh of renewable energy each year, enough to power around 200,000 homes and save 470,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
The cost of building the project will be AU$680 million (£395.5m) and will create 250 jobs during construction.
The park will consist of 59 wind turbines and almost 400 hectares of solar panels, producing a combined generation capacity of 375MW. It will make a significant contribution to South Australia’s low carbon investment target of AU$10 billion (£5.82bn) by 2025.
Interestingly, the project’s wind is mainly driven by the temperature difference between the land and sea rather than the weather. This has the benefit of generation peaking at a regular time in the early evening that matches daily peak demand for electricity.
This effect is most pronounced in the summer when there are the largest temperature differences, meaning annual energy generation peaks when annual demand is also at its highest (for air conditioning).
Solar generation will peak at midday, maintaining a good balance for overall demand.