South Australia’s defeated Premier announces 140MWh battery before conceding election

Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on email
Email
The SIMEC Zen battery will be a little larger than the Tesla-supplied Hornsdale Power Reserve (pictured). Image: Tesla.

One of the final acts in office of outgoing South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill, whose Labor Party was voted out in elections last week, appears to have been inking a deal for another 100MW+ lithium battery facility.

Sanjeev Gupta, the billionaire businessman who took over as chairman of electricity supplier Zen Energy, is in the frame as developer of a 120MW / 140MWh battery energy storage project which would slightly eclipse the recently completed 100MW / 129MWh system by Tesla-Neoen for size.

A statement went out late last week from Weatherill’s office, as the state prepared to go to the polls for its elections. As Weatherill was voted out and the Liberal Party, headed by Steven Marshal, prepared to take over, the statement was unavailable today on the S Australia Premier’s website, which is now 'under construction' in anticipation of the handover.

Australian news outlet ABC reported that the State Government’s Renewable Technology Fund will loan Gupta’s ZIMEC Zen Energy around AU$10 million for the project. Gupta famously said Zen Energy would be deploying renewable energy on a gigawatt-scale in Australia, in many cases to support the operations of commercial and industrial (C&I) facilities, with energy storage considered an enabling technology. Zen also bagged a contract to supply power to South Australian government buildings in December last year.

Further to this end, the new battery facility is being constructed at Whyalla, a steelworks which Gupta’s family companies bought and saved from being closed down. ABC said the battery system will be paired with solar farm facilities at the steel plant.

Jay Weatherill said the battery system would underpin the “long-term viability” of the steelworks, while providing additional benefits to the local grid, science news site Phys.org reported.

Prior to the elections, the victorious Liberal Party had said it planned to scrap a 50% renewable energy target by 2025, but that it would commit AU$100 (£59.1 million) towards supporting household deployment of batteries, and AUD$50 (£29.7 million) of support for grid-scale batteries.

Read Next

November 30, 2021
Wells Fargo has closed its first tax equity investment into a solar project paired with battery storage, a large-scale plant being built in New Mexico, US.
November 29, 2021
Australian power retail and generation company AGL has broken ground on a 250MW / 250MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) in South Australia. 
November 25, 2021
The US House of Representatives has passed Joe Biden’s Build Back Better act, which now moves to the Senate, where negotiations will continue over the legislation.
November 24, 2021
The government of Queensland will commit “at least AU$10 million (US$7.21 million)” to building a multi-user vanadium processing plant to capitalise on natural resources in the Australian state.
November 18, 2021
Global clean energy group TagEnergy and the UK’s Harmony Energy have announced two grid-scale battery storage projects in England and Scotland to be developed through the pair’s joint venture (JV). 

Most Popular

Email Newsletter