Meeting in the state capital of Adelaide, the Board of ZEN Energy has approved a strategic plan to establish 1GW of additional dispatchable renewable generation assets in South Australia.

The assests will support long-term electricity supply contracts with South Australia’s large industrial users to provide access to lower cost, reliable and low emission energy.

The plan was announced following the first ZEN Energy’s Board meeting since Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance purchased a 50.1% share in the company.

The announcements strengthen Gupta’s position in South Australia, which began earlier this year when the British billionaire’s company Liberty House purchased the struggling Whyalla Steelworks from Arrium.

The projects endorsed by the ZEN Energy board in the Upper Spencer Gulf region about 300km north of Adelaide include:

  • 200MW of solar PV, comprising 80MW in the Whyalla Council industrial area, expanded by 120MW on adjacent land owned by Liberty OneSteel;
  • 100MW/100MWh battery at Port Augusta;
  • a 100MW of demand response at the Whyalla Steelworks and other South Australian sites;
  • 120MW/600MWh pumped hydro storage facility at a disused iron ore mine pit in the Middleback Ranges.
  • ZEN Energy plans to install an additional 480MW of solar capacity to support the expansion of industrial capacity in Whyalla and industrial loads elsewhere in South Australia.

“I am delighted ZEN Energy is able to hit the ground running,” ZEN Energy Chairman Sanjeev Gupta said.

“These first steps in South Australia will improve reliability and greatly reduce costs of electricity in our own steelworks at Whyalla, and provide competitive sources of power for other industrial and commercial users.

“This will be followed by early steps to lower Liberty OneSteel’s electricity costs in New South Wales and Victoria, and to provide power at lower cost to other industrial enterprises in these states and Queensland.”

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