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Energy & Utilities

An update on Australia’s largest wind solar storage hybrid project

19 Dec 2018, by Amy Sarcevic

CWP Renewables is taking hybrid renewable generation to new heights with two giant ‘wind-solar-storage’ hybrid projects, both currently in developmental stages.

Once complete, the Asia Renewable Energy Hub (AREH), located in Pilbara in northwest Australia, will generate more renewable energy than Australia’s entire wind and solar contribution towards the Renewable Energy Target.

Its smaller sibling, the Sapphire Renewable Energy Hub (SREH) in northern NSW, consists of the Sapphire Wind Farm which has just completed construction, and a solar farm and battery storage project which are expected to start construction in 2019.

“AREH’s projected capacity is currently 11,000+ MW, which is about double what we initially proposed”, said CWP’s Andrew Dickson, ahead of the Commercial and Large Scale Solar Conference.

“The project started at 6,000 MW with a focus on exports to Indonesia and Singapore via subsea high voltage DC cables. Since then, our vision has expanded to include mines and mineral processing in the Pilbara, where our cheap clean energy can deliver significant cost savings and can help unlock latent economic potential in the region.”

“AREH is also very well suited to the large scale production of green hydrogen, which requires large quantities of cheap clean electricity. AREH will generate over 40 TWh of energy per year, and it is located close to the emerging regional markets for green hydrogen, including Japan, Korea and Singapore.”

The Sapphire project is a more conventional project, being located on the National Electricity Market in NSW. Its pathway to market is through power purchase agreements (PPAs) – the cornerstone of success in any renewable energy project.

To date, three PPAs have been signed for the Sapphire project. One with the ACT Government, to contribute to the ACT’s goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2020; another with Sydney Airport, to help it meet up to 75 percent of its current electrical load; and a third with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, to help it source 65 percent of its national electricity needs from renewable energy from January 2019.

“Commercial and industrial PPAs are at the heart of our business, and are gaining a lot of attention as large energy users search for ways of reduce their energy costs by contracting directly with renewable energy projects. Renewable generation is cheaper than fossil fuel generation, and it has no forward risks around fuel price or carbon.”

“Hybrid energy projects, combining wind, solar and battery energy storage, allow generation profiles to be shaped and firmed, allowing us to tailor energy solutions for different customers’ needs. Dispatchable renewable energy through hybrid projects like the Sapphire Renewable Energy Hub is the future of new energy generation in Australia”.

Andrew Dickson will take time to reflect on current progress, as well as the two projects’ key challenges, at the forthcoming Commercial and Large Scale Solar Conference – due to take place 25 – 26 February 2019 in Sydney.

Learn more and register.

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