Royal Dutch Shell, the noted Australia’s arm of global oil major has confirmed that plans are at an advanced stage to set up a 120 megawatt solar farm in western Downs, Queensland.
In a statement, Shell described the upcoming project as one of those “great opportunities” to restructure and grow its business in the vast Australian market.
While addressing the audience at the Melbourne Mining Club luncheon last Wednesday, Shell Australia’s chair Zoe Yujnovich explained that the company’s “well-advanced plans” for its first solar energy farm involved installation of 400,000 solar panels on a piece of land adjacent to the company’s onshore QGC natural gas firm situated near Wandoan.
Once given the green light, the solar project is expected to reduce the carbon emissions footprint generated during the onshore gas production by QGC. Yujnovich added that the new venture would help the company to realise its global pledge to cut its greenhouse gas emissions.
“As a firm that has supplied energy to customers across Australia for more than a century now, we clearly understand the importance of restructuring our business to factor in evolving markets as well as adapt to changing customer needs,” Yujnovich added.
“Our energy transition is bound to fundamentally change, enabling us to deliver the kind of energy Australians want and need, and there are great opportunities to provide attractive offers to the market.
“The latest establishment in the Australian market is the power trading which is a clear indication of the fact that electrons are likely to play a more important role in that transition.”
When it comes to transition, there’s increasing adoption of electrons as opposed to litres of fuel, and according to the Australia Shell chair the company’s partnership with Sonnen, a reputable German battery maker is expected to grow even deeper.
Having already pumped €60 million ($A95 million) in funding last May and signed an agreement to use Sonnen technology as their electric cars’ fast chargers, Shell is seen as a prospective suitor to Sonnen set to increase its share in Sonnen or buy out an existing shareholder.
Yujnovich also told the gathering at Melbourne that “Sonnen is an established solar energy firm that is ready to venture with a bang in the residential smart battery systems market overseas”.
“So far, Sonnen has installed over 3000 solar battery systems in Australia and plans to expand its business here.”
This move is likely to offer some remarkable insight into the firm’s figures. Sonnen has already set up a manufacturing plant in South Australia, ready to make the most of the Home Battery Scheme in the state and use this as a launching pad for expanding into the Asian market.