We love hearing about big, ambitious and bankable solar projects! Recent news is that an industry partner we trust, Alinta Energy, has committed to backing smart, high-quality renewables projects, such as the just-announced $480 million Solar River Project in South Australia.

We were particularly excited to learn that this new solar project will include one of the largest batteries in the Southern Hemisphere, that uses never-before-deployed cutting-edge technology. Although it hasn’t been disclosed yet, our good guess is that the supplier will be Kokam, the Korean energy storage company that was recently bought out by our favoured solar supplier, SolarEdge.

It’s Big and Bankable

The Solar River Project has been in the works for over two years and will integrate 200MW of PV and a 100MW/300MWh battery under one generation license. It will be under construction by Christmas, and the first electricity will be generated in 2021.

Alinta, a big-name utility in the renewables industry, put out the call last July, offering 1000 MW of contracts for wind and solar projects. The developers of Solar River would not disclose the financial details of the 15-year PPA they’ve negotiated with Alinta, but it is known that the deal is for 75 per cent of the solar farm’s output.

The project will contain the first purpose-built PV battery system in the world and will be one of the largest batteries in the Southern Hemisphere. With a three-hour charge cycle, it will be cycling one to two times a day.

An encouraging shift in thinking

The developer, who has two more major solar and battery projects in the pipeline for SA, has said they are grateful for securing investment from companies like Alinta, as it can be challenging to do so in a less than stable market.

The Solar River Project will create around 350 jobs in SA’s mid-north region and will generate electricity for 90,000 homes. It symbolises Alinta Energy’s “determination to deliver cleaner and more affordable energy for South Australians”, said Alinta CEO, Jeff Dimery.

We are certainly encouraged by this big bold investment in renewables in a major mining province and look forward to hearing more as this project gets underway.