Simec Zen Energy has launched a $1bn, 1GW dispatchable renewable energy programme in the Upper Spencer Gulf located in the state of South Australia.
The company is part of UK industrialist Sanjeev Gupta’s global GFG Alliance, which is a London-based business with a revenue of more than $15bn and more than 14,000 staff.
As part of the programme, the company announced the details of its first project, the Cultana solar farm project.
Cultana is a 280MW solar project that will be built in Whyalla and will have a capacity to generate 600GWh of electricity per annum.
Spread across 1,100ha of land, Cultana will feature 780,000 solar panels and will have the capacity to generate enough energy to power more than 96,000 homes in the region. It is also expected to cut down 492,000t of CO2 every year.
During the construction phase, the project is expected to create 350 direct jobs and ten jobs for carrying out operation and maintenance works.
The energy firm expects to receive development approval later this year and begin construction works at the site in the first quarter of next year.
GFG Alliance Australia executive chairman and CEO Sanjeev Gupta said: “Today’s event is symbolic of our desire to develop and invest in new‐generation energy assets that will bring down Australia’s electricity prices to competitive levels again, as well as our commitment to local and regional Australia.
“In particular, this signals the beginning of our journey with a number of stakeholders to not only transform GFG’s operations in Whyalla but also further enhance the appeal of this great city.”
Other renewable energy projects planned by Simec Zen Energy include cogeneration at GFG’s Whyalla primary steel plant using waste gas; the world’s largest lithium‐ion battery; and trailblazing pumped hydro projects at GFG’s Middleback Ranges mining operations.