DP Energy, after having receiving Development Approval from the South Australian Government for their hybrid wind and solar Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park, has announced that it expects to reach financial close by the end of Q1 2017 and are in the process of appointing financial and legal advisors.
The company is running two parallel processes – selling the project outright or establishing debt and equity providers for the project. In either scenario DP Energy will retain a minority carry. Each DP Energy company is a private limited company with the controlling shareholdings being held by Maureen De Pietro and Simon De Pietro.
The 375 MW project, when fully commissioned, will generate approximately 1,000 GWh of clean renewable energy directly into the national electricity grid per year, enough to power about 200,000 homes and save 470,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year. Located near the former Northern Power Station, the project will create much-needed employment in the energy sector for the Port Augusta region.
The project CAPEX is estimated to be approximately AUD700 million (US$533 million), and will create 250 jobs over construction – peaking at some 600 over the height of that phase of the development; and 15-20 ongoing jobs. The build will involve using local South Australian businesses wherever possible, an approach that DP Energy adopts across all the jurisdictions within which it operates. DP Energy looks forward to working with the local community to find innovative ways in which to maximize the local benefits both through employment generation and by facilitating local supply chain opportunities.
The project’s added significance turns on its unique generation profile: the wind resource (installed capacity ~200MW) is primarily driven by the temperature difference between the land and sea rather than by weather systems, and hence exhibits a regular early evening peak which is well aligned with the daily peak demand for electricity.
This effect is also strongest in the summer when temperature differences are at their greatest, meaning that annual energy generation also peaks when it is most needed. When this evening wind generation temperature effect is coupled with large-scale solar generation (~175MW – which has a midday peak) a good match to overall demand can be achieved thereby supporting the electricity network and placing downward pressure on wholesale prices.