The Board of ZEN Energy has approved a strategic plan for establishing 1GW of additional dispatchable renewable generation assets to support long-term electricity supply contracts with South Australia’s large industrial users.
The contract will provide the Liberty OneSteel Whyalla Steelworks with access to lower cost, reliable and low emission energy.
The projects ready for early development endorsed by the Board include:
- 200MW of solar PV, comprising 80MW in the Whyalla Council industrial area, expanded by 120MW on adjacent land owned by Liberty OneSteel;
- 100MW/100MWh battery at Port Augusta;
- a 100MW of demand response at the Whyalla Steelworks and other SA sites;
- 120MW/600MWh pumped hydro storage facility at a disused iron ore mine pit in the Middleback Ranges.
An additional 480 MW of solar capacity will be installed in due course to support the expansion of industrial capacity in Whyalla and industrial loads elsewhere in South Australia.
“I am delighted ZEN Energy is able to hit the ground running”, Chairman Sanjeev Gupta said.
“These first steps in SA will improve reliability and greatly reduce costs of electricity in our own steelworks at Whyalla, and provide competitive sources of power for other industrial and commercial users.
“This will be followed by early steps to lower Liberty OneSteel’s electricity costs in NSW and Victoria, and to provide power at lower cost to other industrial enterprises in these states and Queensland.
“I have been asked whether this decision is contingent on how current uncertainty in national electricity policy is resolved. Naturally we are watching developments in policy closely.”
Mayor Lyn Breuer said Mr Gupta’s commitment to the projects showed his confidence in the town and the economy.
“The lights are definitely back on Whyalla and we are seeing a massive surge in confidence,” she said.