Tilt Renewables Ltd (NZX & ASX: TLT) has two new energy projects for South Australia.
A new 300 MW, 1,350 MWh pumped hydro energy storage project at Highbury is moving to the approvals phase; and a grant of more than $7.125 million has been announced from SA’s Renewable Technology Fund to support development of the Snowtown North solar farm and battery energy storage system project.
That might be good for Tilt but it’s another example in Australia where excessive amounts of taxpayers’ money was being spent on the renewable energy mantra and, as a result, two States – South Australia and Victoria – are in big trouble.
SA has already spent about $A100 M on new batteries with Tesla’s Elon Musk and there have been claims that the State was still a long way from sustainable energy security.
SA has shut its coal mines and destroyed its coal-fired power stations and, as a result, now has the world’s most expensive domestic and industrial power, while Victoria shut its major coal-fired power station that was generating a large slice of southern Australia’s power, including South Australia.
Blackouts have become a major problem in both states when the high dependence on wind power falters, as it has in recent hot, long windless spells. There is no coal-fired back-up in SA and a lot less in Victoria.
Commenting on the grant, Tilt Renewable’s CEO Deion Campbell said: “Together these projects will make a meaningful contribution to the state’s renewable energy and security of supply targets and economic priorities.
He said the projects also reinforce Tilt Renewables’ long term commitment to the South Australian electricity market and associated support of local communities.
“We have already invested close to $1 billion in SA and are well placed to help the state continue to lead the world in integrating large scale intermittent renewable generation technology,” Campbell said.
About 200 site staff will be employed in the 12-month construction of the Snowtown facility and up to 300 people over 30 months at Highbury.
Tilt Renewables is entering the planning approval phase for the pumped hydro facility on the site of a decommissioned quarry in Highbury, 14 kilometres north-east of the Adelaide CBD.
The site at the old Highbury Quarry is currently owned by project partner Holcim Australia and ceased quarrying operations in 2009.
The site offers a number of attributes making it ideal for a pumped hydro development, including existing reservoir and road infrastructure, and straight forward connection to the grid.
Campbell said pumped hydro has always been a key component of an electricity system because it allows renewable electricity to be stored and used when required, without introducing carbon into the equation.
The $90 M project will be built alongside Tilt’s existing wind farms at Snowtown and deliver a new 44 MW solar farm and a 21 MW, 26 MWh battery energy storage system. Energy generated will be injected into the national electricity grid via the existing 100 MW Snowtown Stage 1 wind farm substation.
The new solar energy farm will consist of up to 180,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and will be on 100 ha of cleared farming land next to the existing Snowtown 1 wind farm substation.