Spanish renewables utility, Iberdrola, has commenced construction works on its Port Augusta project in Australia — the world’s first solar-wind hybrid plant, Kallanish Energy reports.
The Port Augusta facility will combine 210 megawatts (MW) wind with 107 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies. Once in operation, it will generate enough clean energy to power the equivalent of 180,000 Australian homes per year, according to Iberdrola.
The development marks the first new renewables project for Iberdrola since its “friendly acquisition” of Australian renewables developer Infigen Energy in September. Iberdrola states that the hybrid plant, located in South Australia, is the first of its kind in the world and represents an investment of A$500 million ($360 million).
Iberdrola has recently signed major contracts for the Port Augusta project with Danish turbine manufacturer Vestas for the supply and installation of 50 wind turbines with a 4.2 MW capacity and Chinese solar developer Longi for nearly 250,000 solar PV panels.
As a result of the Infigen acquisition, Iberdrola now operates more than 800 MW of both owned and contracted solar, wind and battery storage capacity. Of that some 453 MW are under construction (including Port Augusta) and a project pipeline of over 1 gigwatts (GW) in different stages of development.
Renewable energy in Australia continues to increase its market share and is expected to accelerate growth over the next ten years. According to the Australian government, renewables accounted for 21% of the country’s energy mix last year, with solar production growing by 46% and wind by 19% year-on-year.
By 2030, emissions from the electricity sector are expected to fall by 23% and the share of renewable energies in the generation mix to reach 48%, according to the Australian ministry for energy and emissions reduction.
This post appeared first on Kallanish Energy News.