World’s No.1 wind energy producer powers up in South Australia

18 Feb 2020

Spanish energy utility, Iberdola, has partnered with Irish renewables developer, DP Energy, to enlarge South Australia’s major new hybrid wind-solar project — the A$500 million Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park (PAREP).

Entering the Australia market for the first time, Iberdola plans to commence PAREP Phase 2 in mid-2020. The energy park is already under construction on the coastal plain southeast of Port Augusta in South Australia.

The Phase 2 expansion aims to boost capacity to 320 MW, which is sufficient to power around 180,000 households. Emissions savings should total approximately 400,000 metric tonnes of CO2 annually.

By combining two sources of renewable energy in a single network – wind and solar – the PAREP project aims to avoid one of the principal hurdles of renewable energy projects: capacity shortfalls during peak demand.

Announcing the investment, the company’s Director of Renewable Energy, Xabier Viteri, cited the rapid rise of clean energy in Australia, and ‘tremendous’ potential for future growth.

‘Like a lot of countries, we see increasing demand from the public and businesses for their energy to come from clean sources.

‘When you have that demand, coupled with abundant natural resources for high-performance wind and solar, it creates a highly attractive market to invest in,’ said Viteri.

The PAREP project began construction in 2018. Approved in mid-2018, the follow-on Stage 2 will increase generating capacity and add large-scale battery power storage. On completion, PAREP will be one of the southern hemisphere’s largest hybrid renewable power stations.

The PAREP development is owned by DP Energy. Based in Cork, Ireland, DP Energy pioneers renewable energy projects around the world, including in North America and UK. CEO, Simon De Pietro, welcomed Iberdrola’s first investment in Australia.

‘The company is a global energy leader, with a track record of 31GW of renewable capacity amongst other activities,’ he said.

Based in Bilbao, Iberdrola is the world’s number one producer of wind power. It has major distribution business in North America and across Europe. The company currently owns wind farms in Scotland and Texas, and Europe’s largest onshore wind project at Huevla in Spain.

Founded 20 years ago, Ireland’s DP Energy has delivered 13 renewable energy projects around the world with a combined capacity of 400 MW. The company is currently working on projects set to deliver 2000MW in Australia, Canada, Ireland and the UK.