Two South Australian companies are joining forces to stabilise South Australia’s energy market while laying the foundations for a national low-carbon electricity retail business.
The ZEN Energy and Santos partnership will provide clean, reliable and affordable energy to South Australia’s largest power users by integrating large-scale solar and battery storage with natural gas-based generation.
As an Australian leader in the provision of solar and battery power generation and storage, ZEN Energy has designed and defined the means of delivering large-scale solar power generation supported by battery storage in the Upper Spencer Gulf, as a basis for a retail electricity business.
Santos will bring to the partnership their corporate strength and expertise in the gas supply chain. With the departure of coal from South Australia’s energy supply mix, gas is a source of baseload power to support the integration of renewable energy into the grid, particularly while sufficient energy storage is being established. With a 60-year heritage in discovering, developing and operating natural gas assets, Santos has a long and successful track record as a strategic partner and a supplier of natural gas into the domestic market.
ZEN Energy CEO Geoff Titus said that the preparatory work on the grid-level battery integration has been completed allowing the project to be implemented in time to play a major role in the stabilisation of South Australian electricity supply next summer.
“Over the past 15 months, we have determined what is required for large-scale solar together with battery storage to add the greatest value to electricity users in South Australia.
“We are delighted to be in partnership with Santos to revolutionise the South Australian energy market.”
Santos Managing Director and CEO Kevin Gallagher said:
“We are proud to be partnering with ZEN Energy to help deliver clean, reliable and affordable energy to South Australia.
“Natural gas is between 50 and 70% cleaner than coal, making it an essential part of our transition to a clean economy. It is also the most flexible fuel for baseload power, filling current gaps in renewable power generation.
“By backing up solar and battery power with natural gas, we will provide South Australia’s largest energy users with reliable, cost-effective and secure energy, while at the same time reducing carbon emissions.”
“The partnership also opens up exciting opportunities for Santos to introduce solar energy into our gas processing and transport operations in South Australia and Queensland, lowering our production costs and freeing up gas for release into the domestic Australian market.”