• Energy Estate and MirusWind have proposed to develop a renewable energy hub, designed by Aurecon in New South Wales, according to RenewEconomy
  • The proposed Walcha Energy Project will have 4 GW of total capacity, with wind primarily taking the centrestage; solar and storage will in
  • Solar and storage capacities will increase over time, but initially in the first stage, wind is expected to have up to 1 GW capacity and solar, 400 MW
  • The companies plan to set it up near the town of Uralla with first stage expected to start delivering power by 2022, when Liddel coal plant is scheduled for closure

As wind and solar power technologies prove their mettle in the race against energy generated by fossil fuels ably supported by battery storage, and of course costs for the ‘variable’ technologies dropping over time, big and bigger facilities are being conceived. After South Korea announced a massive renewable energy complex with 4 GW capacity on Saemangeum reclaimed land area in Jeollabuk-do province, it is now Australia’s turn to match up (see 4 GW Solar & Wind Complex For South Korea).

RenewEconomy reports about a proposal from Australian renewable energy developers Energy Estate and MirusWind to build a 4 GW wind, solar and storage facility in New South Wales (NSW). If all goes well, it will be the ‘biggest single renewable energy project in Australia’s main grid’.

Location of the proposed ‘renewable energy hub’, the Walcha Energy Project will be near the town of Uralla and will combine wind, solar and pumped hydro and batteries for the storage component. The first stage may have up to 1 GW of wind and 400 MW of solar that could enter construction in 2020 and start delivering power by 2022, the time when state’s Liddel coal power plant is set to close.

Role of solar as well as storage will increase with time, but it will primarily be more about wind power.

The proposal argues this multi-technology opportunity will supply low cost, firmed, renewable energy to the customers in the state. It could support development of a new transmission line from the Hunter Valley to the New England REZ and facilitate a second double circuit interconnector between NSW and Queensland.

Engineering consultancy and grid specialist Aurecon has designed the hub solution, according to RenewEconomy.

Under its Transmission Infrastructure Strategy launched on November 12, 2018, the NSW government aims to expand its energy capacity to prepare its grid for more alternate energy technologies as wind and solar. “There are $27 billion of new energy projects in the NSW pipeline totalling 20,000 MW. However, for every 20 projects looking to connect only one can – it’s time to change that,” said NSW Energy Minister Don Harwin at the launch.

Another massive renewable energy complex being planned in the country is the Asia Renewable Energy Hub that’s expected to have more than 11 GW of wind and solar power capacity and will be built in Western Australia’s Pilbara region (see Macquarie Joins $22bn Australian 11 GW RE Project).