Lyon Solar announce $1b solar-battery farm for South Australia in 2017

Lyon Solar (the Lyon Group) have announced massive news today, releasing a press release stating they’re going to build a $1b solar+storage farm in South Australia’s Riverland by the end of 2017. The farm, which will consist of 330 mw of solar (cost of around $700 million) and a 100mw lithium-ion battery farm with 400Wh capacity (i.e. four hours of storage) costing $200-300m. It will probably connect to the grid on some scrubland near the small town of Morgan – land has already been secured on where to build the farm. It’s been announced that the system will boast 3.4m solar panels and 1.1m batteries. The solar power generation will qualify for existing renewable energy subsidies of $84/MWh (in addition to the wholesale market price).

About The Lyon Group

The Lyon Group is a Brisbane based partnership run by David Green and backed by Mitsubishi of Japan and the Unite States hedge fund Magnetar Capital. Private equity firm Blackstone, through Magnetar, are among the companies backing the project. Green stated that “We have the capital. That’s already secured,” he said; noting that players like Blackstone don’t “come in behind something that’s ill-considered”. Lyon will be partnered by AES Energy Storage who were instrumental in the emergency roll-out of large-scale battery storage in California last year. Also involved are Tesla and Greensmith (ZEN Energy‘s supplier).

The Lyon Group’s Current Australian Projects

Below is a map of Lyon Solar’s current Australian projects – they’re a big player in the market (have a closer look at their current 120mw Kingfisher project)  and we’re very excited about the  potential of the new Riverland project, which is 100% equity financed and will commence construction around June, employing 270 workers. This solar-battery farm will be the world’s biggest and is extremely exciting for those of us following the energy storage revolution.

Lyon Solar's Australian Projects
Lyon Solar’s Australian Projects (source: AFR.com)

With Wednesday’s shutdown of Victoria’s 1600mw ‘dirty coal’ Hazelwood plant, the project, whilst not a panacea, could go a long way to help solving South Australia’s current and Victoria’s impending energy problems. As Riverland and other large scale projects launch, maybe it’s time to start thinking about upgrading the SA-VIC and creating a new SA-NSW interconnector so as to increase energy flow between the states? Wonder what Jay Weatherill would think?

If you want to hear more straight from the ‘horse’s mouth’ (sorry David) – David Green from Lyon Solar will be speaking at the Informa Large Scale Solar Conference hosted by RenewEconomy in Sydney next week, April 3-4.

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