Plans to build a 500MW solar farm coupled with 250MW /1000MWh of battery storage north-east of Adelaide has won development approval from the South Australian government.
The approval for the massive $1.2 billion solar and storage project, proposed for a site east of Robertstown, about 115km north east of Adelaide, was announced by the NSW-based developers EPS Energy.
EPS Energy, said that it had got the green light from the state government after receiving no objections at all from local council or residents.
“It’s an exciting project and we’re very grateful for the level of support we’ve received from Robertstown, the community, state government departments and agencies and the regional Council of Goyder,” said EPS Energy director Steve McCall.
McCall said the Robertstown Solar Farm – which still has a number of hurdles to clear before commencing construction, including reaching financial close – would ultimately generate enough electricity to power 144,000 homes, while also helping to strengthen the South Australian grid.
As noted earlier this year, the Robertstown project is one of two major PV developments proposed for that particular area, with the nearby Solar River project having won development approval last year. Both projects appear to have been proposed in anticipation of the development of a new connector to NSW, plans for which are being investigated by AEMO and local network operator ElectraNet.
The link favoured by AEMO and ElectraNet would begin near the Robertstown sub-station and go through to Wagga Wagga in New South Wales, with a connection into Victoria. For EPS, the Robertstown project is one among a 1GW+ South Australian solar PV and battery storage portfolio, currently being developed across three separate projects.
This includes the Bungama Solar farm – a proposed 280MW PV and battery project proposed for land east of Port Pirie; and the Yoorndoo Ilga Solar farm – a 200-400MW PV and battery project planned for land north of Whyalla.
EPS Energy says the Robertstown project is on track to begin construction in mid- 2020, and employ around 275 people during construction.
On the finance side, McCall says the company hopes to secure backers for Robertstown within the next few months.
“We’re working with equity and finance partners right now and that’s looking all very positive,” McCall said.
“We’re also committed to utilising the regional workforce and local contractors.”
By: Sophie Vorrath
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