Australian energy company ZEN Energy has approved a 1GW renewable energy plan to meet industrial needs of South Australia, including a 100MWh lithium-ion battery facility at Port Augusta.
The company confirmed the battery will be built near the now closed Northern Power Station, and will be plugged into the 275kV Davenport grid connection. The battery itself is said to cost around AUD100 million ($77m) and would be operational in the first quarter of 2019.
The decision was announced on 30 October by the board of ZEN, led by new chairman, Sanjeev Gupta, whose GFG Alliance acquired a 50.1% stake in Zen in September.
ZEN said the energy storage project will provide lower cost, reliable and low emission power to industrial users, including the Liberty OneSteel Whyalla Steelworks.
The overall cost of the project will be AUD700m and include 200MW of solar panels, a 120MW/600MWh pumped hydro storage facility at a disused iron ore pit, and 100MW of demand response at the Whyalla Steelworks and other sites in the state.
ZEN also confirmed an additional 480MW of solar capacity will be added in future to support the expansion of industrial capacity in the region.
Earlier this year, Tesla was chosen to build a 100MW/129MWh lithium-ion battery in South Australia.
In March, BBB reported that Ross Garnaut, former chairman of ZEN Energy, had told The Guardian that the Australian government should provide more opportunities to Australian companies. Garnaut reportedly said his company could also deliver 100MWh of energy storage by the summer.