The Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park (PAREP) is a 317MW hybrid renewable energy project located in Port Augusta city, Australia. Upon commissioning, it will be the largest wind-solar hybrid project in the country.
The project is being developed by multi-national energy generation company Iberdrola with an investment of A$500 ($364m). It is being supported by DP Energy, the original developer of the project.
PAREP will have a wind power generation component of 210MW, while the solar generation capacity will be approximately 107MW.
Expected to be operational by the end of 2021, the project will generate approximately 900GWh of clean energy a year, which is estimated to be sufficient to power approximately 180,000 Australian homes, while offsetting about 400,000t of carbon dioxide (CO₂) a year.
Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park location and background
PAREP is located 8km south-east of Port Augusta city in South Australia. The site covers 5,400ha of land between Port Paterson in the north and Winninowie in the south. It is situated within the primary industry zone of the Port Augusta City Council and primary production zone of the District Council of Mount Remarkable.
The wind farm at the project site will leverage thermal winds produced as a result of the difference in temperature between the land and sea. The thermal winds will allow the wind farm to produce peak energy during early evening when power demand is also at its peak.
Through its Australian subsidiary DP Energy Australia, DP Energy initially developed the project with a planned overall capacity of 370MW. The company secured approval for the project in August 2016.
The wind farm component of the project was earlier planned to be powered by 59 turbines. The company proposed newer and more powerful wind turbine models in 2017. A revised development application in 2019 sought to reduce the number of turbines from 59 to 50.
The solar farm was also supposed to have a capacity of 150MW, but this was reduced to 107MW.
Iberdrola acquired the project from DP Energy in 2020. It also holds a majority stake in DP Energy’s offshore business.
Details of Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park
The hybrid project will feature 50 wind turbines and 250,000 solar panels with a combined installed capacity of 317MW.
Each turbine of the 210MW wind farm will have a 4.2MW capacity. The turbines will have a hub height of 107m and maximum tip height of 185m.
The electricity generated by the project will be transferred through a 275kV substation and along export cables to be fed to the South Australian transmission network through ElectraNet’s Davenport substation, located near Port Augusta.
The ground breaking on the wind-solar project took place in October 2020, and the installation of the wind turbines was completed in September 2021. The project is expected to generate 200 temporary jobs until the start of operations and 20 permanent jobs following commissioning.
It is anticipated to have a lifespan of at least 25 years, after which it will either be decommissioned or redeveloped.
Power off-take agreement
Australian multi-national mining company BHP announced in October 2021 that it will sign agreements to purchase the power generated from PAREP for its Olympic Dam underground mining operation in South Australia. The agreements will make BHP the primary customer of the project.
Ernst & Young (EY) and Baker & McKenzie were selected by DP Energy to serve as the financial and legal advisors, respectively, for the project in October 2016.
Vestas was selected as the turbine supplier, while Spanish firm Elecnor was awarded a contract worth €76.3m ($88.24m) to conduct engineering, procurement and construction (EPC), balance of plant (BOP), electromechanical, and civil engineering works for the project.
Lucas Total Contract Solutions was contracted to undertake early works for the construction of storage areas, access roads and highway tie-ins.
Chinese photovoltaics manufacturer Longi was selected to supply photovoltaic panels for the solar farm, while international EPC contractor Sterling & Wilson was appointed to build the solar farm.
Rongxin Huiko Electric (RXHK) was subcontracted by Elecnor’s subsidiary Green Light Contractors to supply two 10kV static synchronous compensators (STATCOMs) for the hybrid project.
International law firm Allens advised Iberdrola on the acquisition of the Port Augusta wind-solar project.
Landrum & Brown Worldwide (Australia) was appointed to conduct an updated aeronautical impact assessment for the project, while Atlantic Ecology was selected to perform the ornithology assessment
Other contractors involved in the project include Convergen, URPS and Sonus.