Sanjeev Gupta: The ‘saviour of Whyalla’

Sanjeev Gupta and GFG Alliance have some lofty goals to help move Australia’s energy future in the right direction. A recent presentation has revealed more about the company’s plans and some of its revised energy targets. 

Sanjeev Gupta and GFG Alliance

Sanjeev Gupta - CEO of GFG Alliance (source:
Sanjeev Gupta – CEO of GFG Alliance (source:

Mr Gupta was due to speak in Australia this week but a late change saw a colleague discuss GFG Alliance‘s plans to help shape Australia’s solar future

Presenting at the Australian Energy Storage Conference and Exhibition in Adelaide,Liam Reid, the head of power business development at GFG Alliance, said the company’s initial plan for 1 gigawatt of power supplies has been upgraded 10x – to 10GW.

“Sanjeev has asked us to go hard on solar,” Reid said. “We want to make more that what we can possibly consume, and share elsewhere.”

The basis of this program is up to 1GW of solar to be constructed in and around Whyalla, so more great news for South Australian  solar. Reid told the solar conference that the first step is an 80MW solar farm “behind the meter” near the Whyalla Steelworks, and after this they will install 200MW of grid connected solar on property owned by GFG Alliance.

According to the Whyalla News Online, GFG Alliance will also be investigating the installation of a pumped hydro energy storage plant with an approximate size of 90MW / 390MWh (for the first project – presumably subsequent pumped hydro could store even more).

GFG plan on utilising depleted mine pits to “unlock a legacy of past activity for the benefit of future generations”

A 120MW / 140MWh lithium-ion battery storage facility will also be installed in Port Augusta and Whyalla.

Lastly, GFG are also hard at work trying to offer solar and energy storage solutions for GFG employees, and have also got their eye set on solar projects at many industrial and distribution sites in Australia.

We look forward to seeing what GFG come up with over the next 18 months and applaud their hard work in spreading the renewable message to Australia.

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Solar Power in Vietnam grows rapidly.

Solar power in Vietnam is seeing a huge boom in 2018 as a number of large-scale solar power facilities are in various stages of construction, due to the recent cancellation of two nuclear power plant construction projects deemed too expensive in the initial phases.

Solar Power in Vietnam

Solar Power in Vietnam
Solar Power in Vietnam (source:

Vietnam were planning on partnering with Japan and Russia to build two nuclear power plants in the southern province of Ninh Thuan, but these plans were scuppered late last year due to the large upfront cost of building the reactors (reportedly several billion dollars per reactor, according to 

Instead, the Thien Tan Group will spend USD $2 billion on five large-scale solar power plants in Ninh Thuan. The first plant, which will generate 50MW of energy, will start operating in 2018, followed by four more which will generate 200-300MW each – with all five estimated to end up at 1GW (the same as a nuclear reactor). 

They’re planning on attracting 4.85GW of large scale PV solar power plants by 2030.

The Khanh Hoa Province have also got 120MW of solar power plants opening in 2018 – great news as currently solar power only accounts for 0.01% of Vietnam’s total power generation capacity. The government plans to rectify this by bumping the amount of solar generation up to 3.3% by 2030 and 20% by 2050. They currently generate almost 18GW in hydropower, but statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Trade have shown that wind and solar will become a lot more important in Vietnam’s energy mix in the next ten years. 

There is plenty of sunlight and unused land, especially in southern Vietnam, so as we see the price of solar panels and storage decline there should be a massive increase in the amount of solar generated there. This is similar to what we saw in Thailand, where battery producer Redflow moved their operations last year in order to save on lower production costs. 

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