Overview

Crystal Brook Energy Park is a world-leading renewable energy project combining storage, solar and wind, located approximately 23 kilometres southeast of Port Pirie and 3 kilometres north of Crystal Brook in South Australia.

The Crystal Brook Energy Park will include:

  • Up to 125MW of wind generation comprising 26 turbines (up to 240m in height)
  • Up to 150MW of solar photovoltaic generation on single-axis trackers (up to 170ha in area)
  • Up to 130MW/400MWh of lithium-ion battery storage
  • Associated infrastructure including hardstands, underground cables and access roads
  • Purpose-built substation to deliver the power produced by the project into the South Australian grid
  • Up to 50MW of hydrogen production capability (or up to 25,000kg per day) on-site or at nearby Port Pirie (pending feasibility study)

The aim of this project is to develop an economically and environmentally sound storage, solar and wind project, providing reliable and dispatchable renewable energy to be used locally and exported through the national grid.

The Crystal Brook Energy Park will generate approximately 750,000 Megawatt hours of renewable electricity every year. This is enough to power 145,000 homes with renewable energy. Once the project is in operation, the reduction in CO2 emissions from South Australia will be equivalent to taking 165,000 cars off the road, or planting 3 million trees, while saving millions of dollars every year in fossil fuel costs.

Electricity generated from the solar panels and wind turbines will be carried by underground cables to a central collection point at the on-site substation. The on-site substation will include a battery building which has the capacity to store 3 hours of wind and solar generated electricity. The output from this substation will be exported through an existing 275kV power line that runs adjacent to the site delivering reliable and clean electricity into the National Electricity Grid.

Project so far

The Crystal Brook site was first identified as a potential location for a wind farm in 2010 and has a world class wind and solar resource. Since 2010 there have been substantial reductions in the cost of solar panels and battery storage which has created the opportunity for an economic storage-solar-wind solution with the capability to dispatch generation during times of high electricity demand.

Neoen has conducted an initial feasibility assessment to determine the suitability of the area to accommodate an energy park. This feasibility assessment has been based on:

  • Host landholders supportive of developing the Crystal Brook Energy Park;
  • High grade solar resources;
  • High grade wind resources (four wind monitoring towers were erected on the site in 2010);
  • Proximity to electricity network connection and available capacity at anticipated connection point; and
  • Suitable land in terms of:
    • Terrain and geology;
    • Ecological conditions;
    • Historic conditions;
    • Land area;
    • Compatible land uses;
    • Planning controls; and
    • Access to the site.

Neoen has appointed the consultancy GHD to complete a Development Application and coordinate technical assessments.

Assessment Process

The Crystal Brook Energy Park Development Application will be submitted to the South Australian State Planning Commission by the end of March 2018.

The Development Application has been prepared on the basis of numerous technical studies performed by independent experts, and has taken into account

  • Electromagnetic interference and shadow flicker;
  • Aviation safety;
  • Flora and fauna;
  • Traffic and access;
  • Stormwater management;
  • Character, scenic amenity and landscape values;
  • Separation distances;
  • Sound levels; and
  • Construction impacts management.

Electrical Connection

Electricity generated from the solar panels and wind turbines will be carried by underground cables to a central collection point at the on-site substation. The on-site substation will include a battery with the capacity to store around 3 hours of wind and solar generated electricity.

The combined output from the battery, solar and wind will be evacuated through an existing 275kV power line that runs adjacent to the site. Neoen has ongoing discussions with the Transmission Network Service Provider (TNSP) and has submitted a formal Connection Enquiry.