SA approves Neoen’s Crystal Brook Energy Park

Bright blue sky with wind turbines and solar panels (enel)
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The South Australian Government has granted development approval to Neoen Australia for its ambitious 310MW Crystal Brook Energy Park, which will combine wind, solar, battery storage and possibly green hydrogen to provide 24/7 generation to the South Australian grid.

Located approximately 23km southeast of Port Pirie and 3km from Crystal Brook, the mammoth project will have up to 125MW of wind generation comprising 26 240m-high turbines, up to 110MW of solar PV on single-axis trackers and up to 130MW/400MWh of lithium ion battery storage.

Associated infrastructure including hardstands, underground cables and access roads as well as a purpose-built substation will all ensure connection to the SA grid.

Neoen hopes to include 50MW green hydrogen production capability on-site or nearby at Port Pirie, pending a feasibility study.

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The park will generate approximately 620,000MWh of renewable electricity every year – enough to power 145,000 homes.

The Crystal Brook site was first identified by Neoen in 2010 as a potential location for a world-class wind and solar resource.

Neoen Australia’s head of development Garth Heron said, “With this project, we look forward to building on the success of the Hornsdale Wind Farm and Power Reserve, which since commencing operations in 2017, has helped to stabilise the grid and saved South Australian consumers over $50 million.

“Changing the role of renewables, from just providing power when available to providing firm power 24-hours a day is essential for long-term sustainability, and this project will the first of its kind to offer that type of power service in Australia.”

Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan said, “The combined solar farm, wind farm and grid scale storage project is an exciting step towards getting the mix right in energy generation in South Australia”.

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