Electricity retailer SIMEC ZEN Energy has won a contract to supply the South Australian Government with renewable-sourced electricity until at least 2025.
Under the contract, SIMEC ZEN Energy will supply more than 80 per cent of the Government’s electricity needs in 2018 through a variety of renewable energy sources. This will escalate to 100 per cent in 2019 when it will be backed by local renewable energy projects.
The company will then provide the State Government with ongoing services for five years from 1 November 2020, during which time the entirety of the State Government’s load is planned to be met by the Aurora solar thermal plant being constructed at Port Augusta.
In October 2017, the Board of ZEN Energy approved a strategic plan to establish 1GW of additional renewable generation assets to provide access to lower cost, reliable, and low emission energy.
The projects in the Upper Spencer Gulf region 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;
- 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.
Chairman of SIMEC ZEN Energy and the GFG Alliance Sanjeev Gupta said they are working hand in hand with governments to deliver solutions to ongoing problems in the market.
“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,” 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.”
South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill said the contract would support the entry of home-grown renewable energy company SIMEC ZEN Energy into the retail market.
“It’s fantastic that we were able to secure the electricity to supply our hospitals, schools and electrified rail for the next few years while supporting the growth of a new retail business that will bring some much-needed additional competition into the energy market,” he said.