SIMEC Energy Australia’s Playford Utility Battery gains Development Approval

SIMEC Energy Australia’s Playford Utility Battery gains Development Approval
SIMEC Energy Australia’s Playford Utility Battery gains Development Approval

SIMEC Energy Australia, a member of Sanjeev Gupta’s global GFG Alliance, today welcomed Development Approval for the 100MW Playford Utility Battery which will be built just outside of Port Augusta (~ 320km north of Adelaide in South Australia).

Following the submission of a comprehensive Development Application, and subsequent review by the South Australian Government, the South Australian Minister for Planning, the Hon Stephan Knoll MP, has now signed off on the SIMEC Energy Australia Application to build one of the largest batteries in the world.

SIMEC Energy Australia CEO, Mr Marc Barrington, welcomed news of this important next step for the project:

“Securing Development Approval is another important milestone in SIMEC Energy Australia’s work to invest US$1Billion to deliver 1GW of vital dispatchable renewable energy to the National Electricity Market.

Delivering this important firming asset into the National Electricity Market, will provide greater stability and enable SIMEC Energy Australia to provide globally competitive energy to our customers. The battery will provide significant benefits for the region and energy users who partner with SIMEC Energy Australia for their energy needs.

This asset is also being considered under the ARENA Advancing Renewables Program. This funding, if realised, will bring this project to life – enabling its delivery – as well as continuing to enhance retail electricity competition within South Australia.”

The Playford Battery has a nominal capacity of 100MW/100MWh, placing it at an equal power output to the Neoen/Tesla Hornsdale Power Reserve battery outside of Jamestown in the north of South Australia. The battery also has the capacity to provide a peak response of 135MW when demand is at its highest. Once energised, the Playford Battery will complement the output of our Cultana Solar Farm and provide several innovative services to the grid which include:

  • Market arbitrage: Charging the battery at times of high energy output from renewable sources in the region, including the nearby Cultana Solar Farm, and discharging that energy into the grid at peak times.
  • Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS): Providing frequency support to the grid to support system security.
  • Fast Frequency Response (FFR): Providing frequency support to the grid, with response times typically quicker than traditional FCAS to further protect users of the national electricity grid and enable new renewable energy generation such as the nearby Cultana Solar Farm.

National Significance, Local Benefits

The Playford Battery will provide greater stability to the grid as Australia transitions to a low carbon economy and will further support the Port Augusta community in their goal to be a leader in renewable energy.

SIMEC Energy Australia expects the project to provide up to 50 jobs during construction and is committed to looking to the local workforce first, in order to fill these positions.

SIMEC Energy Australia will also establish a community benefit fund, which will deliver funding grants throughout the life of the project, through an independent committee.

Environmental Focus

Following on from SIMEC Energy Australia’s environmental focus for the delivery of the Cultana Solar Farm, the Playford Battery has been designed to minimise its environmental impact. The facility has been designed to minimise its footprint and utilises only approximately 3ha of the 8ha of land available.

The SIMEC Energy Australia team will also continue to work proactively with local bodies in completing the project Construction Environmental Management Plan.

Anyone interested in understanding more about the project are encouraged to:

Call 1300 988 098 or

For any further media enquiries please contact Luke O’Donnell, GFG Alliance on +61 438 294 377.

Article published on Thursday, 01 August 2019