The South Australian Government has unlocked a suite of renewable opportunities with the signing of a ten-year energy supply contract, and the launch of its new hydrogen prospectus.

After a rigorous process, ZEN Energy won the new energy contract to supply power to the State Government through to 2030 which has secured construction of the state’s largest solar farm and fifth grid-scale battery.

State Minister for Energy and Mining, Dan van Holst Pellekaan, said, “We’re committed to building what matters, using our budget to drive jobs and growth to recover from COVID-19.

“We’re thrilled that 810 new jobs will be created to build the Cultana Solar Farm and Playford Battery which will power the South Australian Government.”

The ten-year agreement commenced on 1 November, and will result in around $12.8 million in savings for taxpayers compared to the previous power arrangements.

“The Marshall Government has used its significant purchasing power to secure the construction of a 280MW solar farm at Cultana near Whyalla and 100MW battery near Port Augusta – both to be delivered in partnership with SIMEC Energy Australia,” Mr van Holst Pellekaan said.

“This is a great outcome for taxpayers, for jobs, for power prices and for grid security.

“The Marshall Government’s energy policies are making these long-proposed projects a reality.

“It’s a big solar farm and a big battery, with big savings for taxpayers, creating a big jobs number.

“The $660 million investment to deliver these two projects includes the creation of up to 810 new jobs at the peak of the construction phase and around $40 million in local goods and services.”

Mr van Holst Pellekaan commented that the new contract will also allow ZEN Energy “to grow its business customer base, enter the residential retail market and improve both the security and reliability of the grid with the state’s fifth grid-scale battery”.

At the same time, the launch of the state’s hydrogen prospectus outlines the plan for three hydrogen hubs to boost South Australia’s position as a leader in global clean hydrogen production and exportation.

The three hubs are located at Port Bonython, Port Adelaide and Cape Hardy/Port Spencer.

Just one of the hydrogen hubs could at least double the current installed capacity of solar and wind farms in South Australia.

Mr van Holst Pellekaan said the prospectus shows that South Australia’s world-class wind and solar resources can underpin its international competitiveness as an exporter of clean hydrogen to Asia and other regions.

“Hydrogen is shaping up as a game changer in the fight against climate change and our aim is to get the cost down so that it’s a commercially attractive option for heavy transport, power generation and use by industry,” Mr van Holst Pellekaan said.

“This prospectus reveals that South Australia can become a national and international exporter of clean power, while achieving the goal of 100 per cent renewable energy.

“The hub at Port Bonython in the Upper Spencer Gulf could export industrial-scale green hydrogen around Whyalla and Port Augusta.”

The minister launched the Hydrogen Export Modelling Tool and Prospectus during the State Government’s Clean Energy Month webinars.

“This is a key step in our plan to make South Australia a consumer and exporter of clean hydrogen,” Mr van Holst Pellekaan said.

“This prospectus and tool builds on the government’s Hydrogen Action Plan, which was released at the International Conference on Hydrogen Safety in September 2019.”

South Australia already has Australia’s largest electrolyser at Hydrogen Park SA in Tonsley.

“This new prospectus and modelling tool cements our credentials as a world-class place to do business and leading renewable hydrogen producer and supplier to the world,” Mr van Holst Pellekaan said.

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