ZEN Energy plans 1GW of renewable generation assets in South Australia

Solar and battery storage developer ZEN Energy is set to establish 1GW of renewable generation assets in South Australia, strengthening the state’s position as a global leader in the industry.

The announcement was made in the company’s first board meeting since UK billionaire Sanjeev Gupta, the owner of struggling steel manufacturer Whyalla Steelworks, purchased a 50.1% share in ZEN.

The projects comprising the overall plan include 200MW of solar PV, a 100MW battery facility at Port Augusta and 120MW of pumped hydro storage at a disused iron ore pit.

ZEN also plans to install a further 480MW of solar capacity to support the expansion of industrial capacity in Whyalla and industrial works elsewhere in South Australia.

“I am delighted ZEN Energy is able to hit the ground running,” said Sanjeev Gupta.

“These first steps in South Australia will improve reliability and greatly reduce costs of electricity in our own steelworks at Whyalla, and provide competitive sources of power for other industrial and commercial users.”

The news is a further boost to South Australia’s renewables industry, which will also be the setting for the world’s largest lithium-ion battery, built by Elon Musk’s Tesla for the storage of energy produced at Neoen’s Hornsdale Wind Farm.