Another big battery for the mid North, and pumped hydro for suburban Adelaide

7 February

Another renewables company plans to construct a big battery in the mid-North of South Australia, with Tilt Renewables set to build a new 44MW solar farm and 21MW/26MWh battery system connected to their existing wind farm near Snowtown.

The $90 million project, which is subject to development approval, is supported by a $7.125 million grant from the State Government’s Renewable Technology Fund, and will create about 200 jobs during construction.

Tilt Renewables also announced plans today for a huge 300MW, 1350MWh pumped hydro energy storage project to be constructed in the disused Highbury quarry.

The pumped hydro project, which requires development approval, will create about 300 jobs during the two to three year construction period.

Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said both projects would add additional competition to the local grid, resulting in cheaper power prices for South Australians.

The solar energy farm to be constructed near Snowtown will consist of up to 180,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. It will be located on 100ha of cleared farming land next to the existing Snowtown Stage 1 Wind Farm substation.

Pumped hydro storage works by pumping water from a lower reservoir to an upper reservoir when power prices are cheap. It can then generate power when electricity demand is high, by releasing gravity-fed water from the upper reservoir through generators and back to the lower reservoir, for the cycle to begin again.

The Tilt Renewables battery and pumped hydro storage announcements follow the launch of a plan this week for the State Government and Tesla to roll out a network of 50,000 home solar and battery systems across South Australia, working together to form the world’s largest Virtual Power Plant.

Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said more renewable energy means cheaper power for South Australians.

“This planned new solar and battery farm in the mid-North and pumped hydro power plant in Highbury will add a huge amount of additional competition to our system,” Mr. Koutsantonis said.

“Storage of renewable energy is the future and once again we are seeing South Australia lead the world in the development of a broad range of storage technology. I congratulate Tilt Renewables for the success of their application to the Renewable Technology Fund and for their vision in the development of these cutting-edge renewable energy projects.”

Tilt Renewables CEO Deion Campbell said when the construction is complete, the new infrastructure at Snowtown will be part of the biggest co-located wind, solar and battery facility in Australasia.

“Clearly today Tilt Renewables has taken two steps towards achieving its vision to be a leading developer and owner of renewable electricity generation assets and I am proud of the team that has worked to get the business to this stage with these projects,” Mr. Campbell said.

“The Snowtown enhancement will combine wind energy (with typically an evening peak at this site) and solar energy (with a daytime peak), allowing the two assets to better match daily electricity demands, with the battery reducing the effect of short term variability from the two renewable generation technologies.”

“Storage has always been a key component of an electricity system and pumped hydro allows renewable electricity to be stored and used when required, without introducing carbon into the equation,” Mr. Campbell said. “We are confident these two projects will have a positive impact by improving supply security and reducing electricity price volatility in South Australia.”