India-born British billionaire Sanjeev Gupta has launched a $1 billion, one-gigawatt renewable energy plan based in South Australia’s mid-north that he says will lead the country’s industry transition to more competitive power.
In the first of a number of projects slated for the upper Spencer Gulf region, will include a 120MW lithium-ion battery bigger than the 100MW battery built by Elon Musk’s Tesla in South Australia in 2017, according to details released by Gupta’s energy company Simec Zen of its Cultana Solar Farm.
The project will produce 280 megawatts of power and feature 780,000 solar panels, generating enough electricity for 96,000 homes. The Cultana Solar Farm will begin construction in early 2019, employing 350 workers during construction, reported ABC News.
“Today’s event is symbolic of our desire to develop and invest in new-generation energy assets that will bring down Australia’s electricity prices to competitive levels again,” Gupta said on Wednesday.
“Solar will be the main base of our ambitions in Australia but we will have some wind and we have lots of storage solutions.”
When completed, Gupta’s battery will surpass the battery built by Tesla as the largest in the world, reports said.
However, the Gupta Family Group (GFG) Alliance has no intention to stop there with plans for pumped hydro projects and expanded solar farms being developed for South Australia.
“All of these projects will not only improve reliability and greatly reduce the cost of electricity in our own operations, they will also provide competitive sources of power for other industrial and commercial users, while at the same time playing a key role in the market’s transition towards renewables,” he said.
“We have a strong conviction that traditional carbon-intensive generation sources do not have a long-term future as the predominant source of power in Australia and globally.
“We believe the world is undergoing a momentous transition to renewable power as the cost of renewables drops dramatically and quickly,” he added.