UK steel billionaire Sanjeev Gupta says his company could build 10GW of large-scale solar across Australia, as well as an electric vehicle manufacturing facility.
The comments, made in a speech to the Australian Energy Storage conference and exhibition in Adelaide last Wednesday, dramatically increase the scope of Gupta’s renewable energy plans for Australia.
Gupta’s GFG Alliance and its energy offshoot SIMEC ZEN has previously spoken of 1GW of solar plus storage just in South Australia to power the newly purchased Whyalla steel works, and more for the OneSteel assets that he now also owns in NSW and Victoria.
But Gupta now says this has changed, thanks to the plunging cost of solar and the need for cheap electricity.
“We are going to build 1,000MW in South Australia, but across the country – depending on the growth in industries – it could be as much as 10GW,” Gupta said.
The output would be used for Gupta’s steel and recycling business, which he hopes to expand dramatically, but also for other industrial users, and he sees huge potential for solar to underpin those industries.
“Australia has the best solar conditions in the world, and solar is already the cheapest form of generation in many parts of the world,” he said.