Australia approves 375MW hybrid project

AUSTRALIA: Developer DP Energy has won approval from the South Australia state government to build a 375MW renewable energy project with combined wind and solar power.

South Australia has approved DP Energy's 375MW Port Augusta hybrid energy park

The A$680 million (US$518 million) Port Augusta park will comprise 59 turbines and four square-kilometres of solar panels to provide 1TWh of renewable energy every year, the developer said.

According to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Monthly, DP Energy's project will comprise 206MW of wind capacity.

It will be located near Port Augusta in the southeast of South Australia state.

"The wind resource is primarily driven by the temperature difference between the land and sea rather than by weather systems, and hence exhibits a regular early evening peak which is well aligned with the daily peak demand for electricity.

"This effect is also strongest in the summer when temperature differences are at their greatest, meaning that annual energy generation also peaks when it is most needed," DP Energy said.

Hybrid parks are becoming more popular in Australia. At the end of July, the government-backed Australia Renewable Energy Agency (Arena) awarded a A$9.9 million grant to add a 10MW solar project to the 165.5MW Gullen Range project in New South Wales.

Arena said that adding solar panels to the wind development could reduce the costs of solar installation by 20%.

Also at the end of July, Senvion Australia won a turbine purchase deal to supply two turbines to an offgrid hybrid system in South Australia to local power generation firm EDL.