Huge 300MW solar farm begins construction near Port Augusta,
Isn’t this a brilliant outcome? For the last few years, the nuclear lobby has been touting Port Augista as the place for a nuclear power station. Following the absolute defeat of the shonky South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission, and thanks to all those who fought against it, so brilliantly – South Australia now could become a world leader in modern clean energy.
REneweconomy, By Giles Parkinson on 11 April 2017 The first two stage of a 300MW solar farm – Australia’s biggest – has begun construction near Port Augusta in South Australia after its developers last Friday reached financial close on the project, and agreed to sell it to two of Europe’s biggest investors in renewables, Italy’s Enel Green Energy and the Dutch Infrastructure Fund.
The first two stages, totalling 220MW, of the Bungala project is being built around 12kms from Port Augusta, where the state’s last coal fired generator closed last May. Ironically, project developer Reach Energy is headed by Tony Concannon, the former head of the owners of the Hazelwood brown coal generator in Victoria which closed late last month.
The two first stages of Bungala will be completed late in 2018, and will be built by Spanish company Elecnor, which recently completed the 57MW Moree project in NSW and the smaller 21MW Barcaldine project in Queensland.
Bungala will be built “battery storage ready”, and will also likely be the first major solar farm to participate in Australia’s FCAS market (frequency control and ancillary services), using SMA inverter technology to provide voltage control for the grid.
Concannon says the remaining 80MW of capacity could be built – along with battery storage – should the company win a South Australian government tender for 25 per cent of its electricity needs with “dispatchable” renewables.
Reach has submitted proposals for both 20MWh of battery storage and 100MWh, although it did not participate in the other tender for a separate 100MWh battery unit. If the tender is not successful, there are also discussions with other potential off-takers in train…….
The new plant, he says, will be designed to provide FCAS – even at night, after the sun has gone down. “What a number of people don’t realise is that you can design ancillary services for solar plants to operate at night time.
“We can draw in power from the grid at night, and use the inverter technologies to regulate voltage, and that helps stabilise the system, even when the sun is not shining.”
Unlike battery storage in households, which he describes as mostly “passive” and focused on converting the output of solar panels from DC power to AC power so it can be put into the grid, utility-scale inverter technologies are able to shape voltage and current very quickly and in a very flexible manner. Modern wind farms are also using the same technologies.
“The inverter changes phase between the voltage and current … inverters can pull the current in, and change the phase to what grid wants.”
Concannon, a power engineer, says it is a tricky subject to try and explain, but says a lot of the articles he has read in the media – about wind and solar not being able to provide grid services – are wrong……..http://reneweconomy.com.au/huge-300mw-solar-farm-begins-construction-near-port-augusta-63411/
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