Simec unveils 1GW clean energy portfolio plan for Australia
Renewable energy business Simec Zen Energy has unveiled plans for $1bn worth of clean energy investment in Australia.
Simec is a subsidiary of GFG Alliance – an international umbrella business encompassing mining, metals, engineering, energy and financial services – and has unveiled plans to build a 1GW clean energy portfolio in Whyalla, South Australia.
The overall project will include a 280MW solar PV project, the Cultana solar farm, which will use 780,000 PV panels with an output set to reach 600GWh of energy annually. The project should produce enough energy to supply 100,000 average households and offset about 492,000 CO2 emissions per year, according to Renewables Now.
As a whole the project is set to create around 350 jobs during its construction and aims to ensure long-term green, cheaper power supply for industrial use, including that of Whyalla steelworks.
Chairman of the group, industrialist Sanjeev Gupta, stated on a site visit: “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, as well as our commitment to local and regional Australia.”
He added, according to The Guardian: “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.”
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.