In order to expedite its shift to 100 percent renewable energy, the South Australia government has contracted SIMEC ZEN Energy while it waits for the Aurora 150MW solar tower and molten salt storage project to be constructed.
According to a report from the RenewEconomy website, the said contract will establish the plans of SIMEC ZEN Energy of constructing a 1 gigawatt of solar, storage, and demand management to power the Whyalla Steelworks. In a statement, Chairman Sanjeev Gupta said, “This is the beginning of a journey that will see SIMEC ZEN Energy redefine the energy landscape of Australia, bringing down costs dramatically and making globally competitive energy a key advantage for Australian industry.”
Gupta was able to acquire the Whyalla steel assets together with OneSteel’s operations near Melbourne, Newcastle, and Sydney. SIMEC ZEN Energy will supply green power in South Australia through its own renewable investments, but will also contract with other suppliers in the meantime. The company will also support the government enhance its demand management practices to boost the reliability of the grid by lessening the system load during periods of high demand.
Premier Jay Weatherill stated that the contract of SIMEC ZEN Energy will be “competitive,” indicating it was in and around the $75/MWh offered by SolarReserve to construct what will become the world’s biggest solar tower and molten salt storage facility near Port Augusta.
He continued, “Earlier this year, we used our power supply requirements to underwrite the entry of the Port Augusta solar thermal plant to the market, which will put downward pressure on power prices for all South Australians m but also create hundreds of jobs for locals in the Upper Spencer Gulf.”
Gupta also expressed his opinion that Australia deserves a competitive energy industry. He said, “This will drive jobs and growth, it will encourage the private sector to invest and entrepreneurs to take more risk, not only in South Australia but across the country.” Read the full report here.
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