Work on the world’s biggest solar and battery storage plant could begin later this year after the project was launched in Adelaide in March. The $1 billion project will also become Australia’s largest solar farm.

The project developer, Lyon Group, says the plant will feature 330MW of solar power and an eventual 400MW battery storage system (the first phase will be 100MWh). Construction will start by late 2017.

Riverland Solar Storage will have 3.4 million solar panels and 1.1 million batteries; the plans for the huge plant were unveiled in September 2016. Released alongside were plans for the Kingfisher Solar Storage project and this 120MW PV and 200MWh storage facility near Roxby Downs will probably start around the same time. Both plants will have battery storage systems that are larger than any others around the world.

Forging ahead

Both projects will go ahead no matter what the result of the South Australian government’s battery storage tender. The results will influence the final storage arrangements and configurations though, as there needs to be a balance between grid security and trading revenue.

Lyon Group is particularly confident after an investment from Illinois-based Magnetar Capital to help its large-scale Australian solar projects. There are several in motion, which will lead to 1.7GW of online PV and 1GW of battery storage by 2020.

Lyon Group has put a lot of time and effort into working with governments, market entities and utility providers for some time now and it’s confident that it can bring reliable power to South Australia, even during the summer, when demand peaks.

Batteries are the future

Large-scale renewable energy and battery storage is going to play a huge role in making Australia’s grid system stable and reliable; it will also be greener and cheaper. South Australia in particular is leading the way in what will become a global revolution in energy generation and provision.