Amp Energy plans 1.3GW of solar at South Australia renewables hub

The solar projects will form part of a wider hub featuring battery storage and hydrogen production. Image: Amp Energy India via Twitter.

Canada-based renewables company Amp Energy will develop a portfolio of large-scale PV projects and battery energy storage systems as part of an AU$2 billion (US$1.55 billion) hub in South Australia.

The portfolio of solar projects, acquired from Australian firm EPS, consists of three plants totalling 1.3GW of capacity, located at Robertstown (636MW), Bungama (336MW) and Yoorndoo Ilga (388MW), as well as battery storage capacity of up to 540MW.

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With development approvals and land secured, the Robertstown and Bungama projects are expected to begin energisation in late 2022.

Amp said the Renewable Energy Hub of South Australia will also include wind assets, while two of the PV projects will be linked to a hydrogen production facility. The company is aiming to produce the fuel for both the domestic market and export to Asia.

With South Australia targeting 100% renewable generation by 2030, Amp’s announcement was welcomed by the state’s minister for trade and investment, Stephen Patterson: “The Renewable Energy Hub of South Australia will be fundamental in integrating our state’s renewable energy storage assets and building our capability and supporting the fast-moving energy transitions we’re experiencing.”

South Australia’s renewables transition has been boosted by a new emissions reduction agreement with Australia’s federal government that will focus on areas such as hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, as well as a new interconnector between the state and New South Wales.

Having met its 2020 emissions reduction target two years ahead of schedule, South Australia last week announced plans to slash its emissions by 45-50% by 2030.

Dean Cooper, head of Amp Australia, said the strategic value of the company’s renewables and energy storage portfolio “is significant in a jurisdiction which is undergoing one of the most rapid energy transitions in the world”.

Founded in 2009, Amp develops, owns and operates clean energy assets in countries including the US, Canada, Japan and India, where it recently secured 130MW of solar capacity in a recent auction.

Earlier this year, private equity firm the Carlyle Group announced a US$374 million investment in Amp, which will use the funds to expand its asset portfolio in markets such as North America, Japan, Australia, Iberia and the UK.

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