Lyon to build $1b solar and storage project

The world’s biggest large-scale solar and battery storage plant will be built by the end of the year in South Australia’s Riverland district.

The $1 billion Riverland Solar Storage’s 330MW solar generation and 100MW battery storage system will be the biggest solar farm in the country, with 3.4 million solar panels and 1.1 million batteries.

Lyon Partner David Green said at the project’s launch in Adelaide yesterday construction would start in coming months and the plant is expected to be operational by the end of the year.

Mr Green said that Lyon’s previously announced Kingfisher Solar Storage project near Roxby Downs was also likely to start construction in 2017.

Riverland Solar Storage will proceed first, as the land has been secured and the grid connection is further advanced.

“Our projects are 100 per cent equity financed, technology and other commercial arrangements are in place, network capacity analysis and discussions with network owners are well advanced, and development consultation and approvals have commenced,” Mr Green said.

Mr Green said Riverland and Kingfisher would each have battery storage systems larger than any already operating around the world.

“If the 4.7 million solar panels at Riverland and Kingfisher were placed end to end, they would reach from Adelaide to Brisbane and back, and then all the way to Melbourne,” Mr Green said.

Lyon Group was joined at the announcement by its alliance partners US-based energy giant AES Energy Storage and its EPC contractor Downer.

Mr Green said that South Australian energy consumers would benefit from the South Australian Government’s recently announced utility-scale battery tender.

“The South Australian Government’s leadership on large-scale battery storage has come together with technology cost reductions and international financial interest to provide a timely solution to some of the challenges in the state’s electricity system,” Mr Green said.

“Large-scale renewables and large-scale battery technology will play a central role in keeping our electricity system stable, reducing prices, and reducing emissions.

“Right now, South Australia is at the forefront of an irrepressible global energy transition.”

“Our team is at site right now, today. Timing is critical and we are moving forward”.

Mr Green said that the outcome of the tender would not determine whether Lyon’s projects are built but would influence the final storage configuration in terms of the balance between optimising grid security and the capture of trading revenue.