The Board of ZEN Energy has today approved a strategic plan for establishing 1GW of additional dispatchable renewable generation assets to support long-term electricity supply contracts with South Australia’s large industrial users, including the Liberty OneSteel Whyalla Steelworks, to provide access to lower cost, reliable and low emission energy.
ZEN Energy held its first Board meeting in Adelaide this morning, after Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance purchased a 50.1% share in the company. Sanjeev assumed the role of Chairman. Outgoing Chairman Ross Garnaut is retaining an active role on the Board as President of the company, and Raymond Spencer will remain on the Board.
The projects ready for early development endorsed by the Board today include:
- 200MW of solar PV, comprising 80MW in the Whyalla Council industrial area, expanded by 120MW on adjacent land owned by Liberty OneSteel;
- 100MW/100MWh battery at Port Augusta;
- a 100MW of demand response at the Whyalla Steelworks and other SA sites;
- 120MW/600MWh pumped hydro storage facility at a disused iron ore mine pit in the Middleback Ranges.
An additional 480 MW of solar capacity will be installed in due course to support the expansion of industrial capacity in Whyalla and industrial loads elsewhere in South Australia.
“I am delighted ZEN Energy is able to hit the ground running”, Chairman Sanjeev Gupta said.
“These first steps in SA 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. This will be followed by early steps to lower Liberty OneSteel’s electricity costs in NSW and Victoria, and to provide power at lower cost to other industrial enterprises in these states and Queensland.
“I have been asked whether today’s decision is contingent on how current uncertainty in national electricity policy is resolved. Naturally we are watching developments in policy closely. In the meantime, we are proceeding with the first 520MW of capacity based on positive interactions with relevant stakeholders.
“I believe there is a great future for energy-intensive industries in Australia. I look forward to helping build ZEN Energy to become a major player in the Australian energy transition.”
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