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Electricity from solar panels is now helping to power Santos’ Port Bonython processing plant in South Australia.

Electricity from solar panels is now helping to power Santos’ Port Bonython processing plant in South Australia.

The 2.12MW ground-mounted solar photovoltaic system will generate more than three gigawatt hours of emissions-free energy per annum. That represents over six per cent of electricity used at the plant.

Port Bonython is on the western shore of the Spencer Gulf, and processes natural gas liquids and crude oil piped from the Moomba plant for export.

The solar solution was engineered, installed and connected by AGL on time and on budget.

Santos Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Gallagher says Santos now has a proven track record of integrating renewable energy into existing operations.

“This solar installation at Port Bonython is our biggest demonstration yet of how we can work with renewables to not only reduce our carbon emissions but to also free up more gas for the domestic markets,” Mr Gallagher said.

“As a large industrial user of electricity, we’re also doing our bit to reduce the burden on the grid by generating new supply.”

The project was also a win for local jobs, with the installation carried out by workers from Whyalla, and the solar panel mounting system manufactured in Adelaide by Australian company 5B which set up a full production facility in Adelaide.

Santos is investing in carbon reduction across our assets, including converting oil beam pumps in the Cooper Basin to solar and batteries.

“We are also investing $10 million to test the potential for carbon capture, utilisation and storage in the Cooper Basin,” Mr Gallagher said.

“Last month Santos announced the launch of a battery project for Darwin LNG, operated by ConocoPhillips, which will reduce carbon emissions from power generation by 20 per cent, as well as cut fuel gas consumption and operating costs.

“In Western Australia, we’re replacing existing power generation turbines at our Devil Creek plant with more fuel-efficient ones – not only reducing emissions by more than 25% but also generating Australian Carbon Credit Units as a registered project with the Emissions Reduction Fund.

“These initiatives are steps along the way to achieving our goal of net-zero emissions by 2050,” Mr Gallagher said.