SA Solar Investment

Snowy Hydro Limited will invest in a battery ready 100 megawatt solar facility in Tailem Bend in South Australia to boost its generation capacity and grow its electricity retail business - Lumo Energy.

By entering into a long-term agreement with experienced renewable energy investor and developer Equis, Snowy Hydro will be able to access 100 megawatts of renewable solar generation on completion of the solar farm in 2018, with the ability to install up to 100 megawatts of large-scale battery storage on the Tailem Bend site.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Snowy Hydro to source renewable generation in South Australia to complement our existing capacity,” Snowy Hydro CEO and Managing Director Paul Broad said.

“The solar farm represents a significant, strategic investment in South Australia by Snowy Hydro and demonstrates our commitment to growing both our generation business and our Lumo Energy business, which services around 50,000 electricity customers in the State.

“We are pleased to be working with Equis to deliver more renewable energy to South Australia, backed by reliable fast-start thermal capacity. Importantly, this unique generation facility at Tailem Bend is also ‘battery ready’ with the ability to install up to 100 megawatts of large-scale battery storage on the site.”

David Russell, CEO of Equis, said: “As Asia’s largest renewable energy developer and investor, the Tailem Bend solar project represents an exciting expansion into Australia for Equis and an unique opportunity to leverage our development and construction expertise to deliver large scale, reliable renewable energy for Australian consumers.

“We are delighted to partner Snowy Hydro on the Tailem Bend solar project to build one of Australia’s lowest cost solar generation projects with a unique “battery-storage ready” design, further enhancing the project’s long term attractiveness as a stable, low cost source of power.”

Snowy Hydro currently owns and operates 5500 megawatts of generation capacity across Australia, including the iconic 4100 megawatt Snowy Hydro-electric Scheme in the Snowy Mountains region of NSW.

The Tailem Bend project will mean Snowy Hydro has access to 264 megawatts of generation capacity in South Australia. The company already operates 136 megawatts of thermal capacity at Port Stanvac and Angaston and will add a further 28 megawatts of diesel generation at the Tailem Bend site from 2017.

“We combine the power of the mighty Snowy Scheme with gas and diesel fired peaking generators to deliver a flexible and reliable mix of energy to our growing customer base every day,” Mr Broad said.

“We have been keeping the lights on in NSW and Victoria since construction days in the 1950s and are one of the most experienced and diverse companies operating in the National Electricity Market.

“Through our award winning retail companies - Red Energy and Lumo Energy - Snowy Hydro services more than one million gas and electricity customer accounts. We pride ourselves on superior customer service and look forward to growing our Lumo Energy retail customer base in South Australia.”