One of South Australia’s largest renewable energy generators, the 212MW Lincoln Gap wind farm and battery plant, is hoping to more than double in size, with developer Nexif Energy submitting plans to add more turbines, more storage, and expand the project by another 252MW.
The application, submitted to the state government and open for public consultation, seeks approval for another $500 million to be spent on stage-three plans, including the construction of a further 42 wind turbines of up to 206 metres in height and 6MW in individual generation capacity – which would be the biggest turbines in Australia.
The application also seeks permission for accompanying overhead connection infrastructure, a substation, and further battery energy storage and/or synchronous condenser units, to add to the 10MW/10MWh LG Chem battery that designed by Fluence that has already been installed as part of stage two of the project.
In a separate application, Nexif is also seeking approval from South Australia’s Essential Services Commission to swap out just under half of the 59 turbines being installed in stage two of the project – set to commenced construction in September – to Vestas branded turbines.
The switch to Vestas turbines follows the appointment of the Danish wind giant as the turnkey construction contractor for stage two of Lincoln Gap, after the project’s former construction partner, Senvion, put itself into a form of administration in early 2019 – just as the first of Lincoln Gap’s stage 1 turbines started sending power to the grid.
And because of the switch, Nexif has also had to withdraw – temporarily – its application for regulatory approval of the 10MW battery has already been installed, but not yet switched on.
In an application to the South Australia Essential Services Commission, Nexif has requested a licence variation to change 24 of the 59 wind turbines already licenced and registered for stage 2 installation to Vestas 3.6 V136 models.
“The Stage 2 Wind Turbines will be supplied, installed and integrated by Vestas who is world-renowned for successful wind farm projects,” the ESCOSA application says.
“Nexif is registering this change with AEMO under its current registration and will confirm consistent capability with the current Generator Performance Studies.”
Vestas had already been engaged, in March of this year, to take over from Senvion and supply maintenance services to the 126MW first stage of the Lincoln Gap wind farm, through a 25-year Maintenance Services Agreement (MSA).
The wind turbine manufacturer has a strong presence in the Australian market and has established a turbine assembly and testing facility in Victoria, at the site of a former Ford Motor factory.