Billionaire Sanjeev Gupta of GFG Alliance owns a 50.1% stake in Zen Energy. His 1 GW dispatchable renewable energy plan was announced in November 2017, now he starts with a 280 MW project in South Australia.(Photo Credit: Zen Energy)
- Announcement of 280 MW Cultana Solar Farm in Australia marks the official launch of SIMEC Zen Energy’s 1 GW dispatchable renewable energy ‘program’
- The Cultana Solar Farm will be located in Whyalla, South Australia and will deploy 780,000 solar panels
- Construction is expected to start in early 2019; on completion, it is expected to generate 600 GWh of solar power per year
- Other projects the company is planning under this program 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
UK based billionaire Sanjeev Gupta’s SIMEC Zen Energy has officially launched its 1 GW dispatchable renewable energy ‘program’ in Australia, starting with a 280 MW Cultana Solar Farm. The Whyalla, South Australia located plant is expected to generate 600 GWh of clean energy annually.
Construction of the Cultana Solar Farm is expected to start in early 2019, leading to creation of 350 direct jobs. There will be 10 ongoing operation and maintenance positions. It will deploy 780,000 solar panels on an area 1,100 hectares.
Plans for this 1 GW renewable energy capacity were announced in November 2017 when Zen GFG Alliance of Gupta acquired 50.1% stake in Zen Energy of Australia (see Zen Energy Plans 1 GW RES In Australia).
Other projects under the 1 GW plan 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. Another solar power project is planned to come up nearby. Together the two solar plants will make it one of Australia’s largest solar farms, with even larger projects planned to follow in other states. The company did not share details about the second project.
Gupta however stressed his company will continue to invest in renewables while also making use of traditional power sources.
“All of these projects will not only improve reliability and greatly reduce the cost of electricity in our own operations, they will also provide competitive sources of power for other industrial and commercial users, while at the same time playing a key role in the market’s transition towards renewables,” said Gupta at the launch.