An international electric company building a solar panel project in South Australia is among the dozens of firms bidding for work on the nation’s largest storage battery.
Surpass Sun Electric, headquartered in Shanghai, says a 6MW solar photovoltaic system will be up and running in Whyalla by June.
SSE’s international division chief Colin Gillam says the company already has agreements in place to sell the energy it produces.
“There’s security about the income for the project,” he told reporters in Whyalla on Tuesday.
Mr Gillam said the company had also expressed interest in a grid-scale storage battery planned for SA, joining some 90 companies from 10 countries vying for work on it.
However he said SSE’s bid was not to build the entire battery but rather part of it through a distribution system at Whyalla.
“We’ve got land set aside. We’ve got access to the substation,” Mr Gillam said.
“We’re happy to have some other companies come in and provide some alternative solutions.”
The battery is part of the state’s new $550 million energy security strategy, which also includes building a government-owned, gas-fired power station.
Capable of storing 100MW of solar and wind energy, the battery will be the biggest of its kind in Australia.
The South Australian government said this week it had received 90 expressions of interest to set up the battery by December.
Companies to have publicly declared interest include Elon Musk’s Tesla, Zen Energy, Lyon Group with US company AES Corp, and Carnegie Clean Energy with Samsung SDI.
The project could deliver a political windfall to South Australia’s government, vindicating their investment in renewables, which have come under fire since last September’s state-wide blackout.
Premier Jay Weatherill said Whyalla would be a key player in SA’s energy future thanks to its potential in solar and co-generation possibilities at the city’s embattled steelworks.
“There is an extraordinary solar resource here, with 300 days of sunshine a year,” Mr Weatherill said on Tuesday.