South Australian
The Broken Hill solar plant in South Australia. Image credit: Wikimedia

A mega solar-plus-storage project valued at over AU$1.17 billion ($822 million) has been passed by the South Australian government, greenlighting the construction of 500MW of solar generation, to be co-located with 250MW, and 1000MWh of battery storage.

The site is located five kilometres from the nearby village of Robertstown, and its population of less than 400 people.

The power station will be built in stages before being connected to the Roberstown substation.

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The project proposal was the initiative of New South Wales-based Energy Projects Solar (EPS), and was passed without objection.

According to EPS, construction will start in mid-2020, and will create 15 full-time, and 275 construction-phase jobs in the area. Once fully developed and operational, the site will be able to power 144,000 homes, over a 30-year service life.

The site is one of two in the area, along with the Solar River project which was approved in 2018 and comprises 200MW of capacity, and 12MWh or battery storage. Future plans include doubling total capacity, and upping storage by a further 150MWh should plans to export power to the states of Victoria and New South Wales go ahead.

With the proposal having been granted government approval, the project is open for funding.

EPS director Steve McCall said: “We’re working with equity and finance partners right now and that’s looking all very positive,” adding “We’re also committed to utilizing the regional workforce and local contractors.”

For EPS, the Robertstown project is one of several major solar and storage schemes planned in multiple states. The company’s interests in South Australia include the proposed Bungama Solar project with a 280 MW generation capacity and battery project near Port Pirie, as well as the Yoorndoo Ilga Solar project, a 200-400 MW solar capacity facility.