Huge Photo voltaic reboots Port August photo voltaic thermal plans, with $110m federal funds

Plans to construct a photo voltaic thermal energy plant in Port Augusta are again on the desk, after native outfit Huge Photo voltaic was awarded federal authorities backing to construct a 20MW venture with 12 hours of storage close to the South Australian metropolis.

The $110 million in finance for the proposed concentrated photo voltaic thermal energy plant was introduced on Friday by federal power minister Angus Taylor as a part of a spree of pre-election funding bulletins, together with for hydrogen and CCS tasks.

The cash for the venture, which RenewEconomy understands to be budgeted, seems to be a cheerful return of the $110 million set aside in March 2017 by the then Turnbull government to assist finance an unspecified CSP venture, in a deal struck with the Nick Xenophon Get together.

At the moment, the tender for the concessional mortgage deal was awarded to US outfit SolarReserve, whose $750 million Aurora photo voltaic tower with molten salt storage was to ship 150MW of capability and eight hours of storage.

That venture was abandoned by SolarReserve two years later, nonetheless, when the corporate revealed it had been unable to boost finance – even regardless of the monetary assist bundle.

Now, 5 years after competing for and lacking out on the 2017 tender for the Port Augusta CSP venture, Huge has one other shot at making it occur.

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Huge says the venture will function the identical modular tower CSP know-how that the corporate has efficiently demonstrated at Jemalong in New South Wales. It makes use of sodium as the warmth switch fluid.

CEO Craig Wooden says the “world-leading facility” will produce the form of dispatchable renewable electrical energy that has been a aim of the Morrison authorities’s Know-how Funding Roadmap.

Wooden says CSP know-how, which is but to achieve a foothold within the Australian market, is basically certainly one of two established applied sciences – alongside pumped hydro – that may supply the form of relaible long-duration power storage that might be important for a renewable power grid.

“The know-how works, it’s offering bulk in a single day power and grid stability in markets world wide, mainly all over the place besides Australia,” Wooden advised RenewEconomy on Friday.

“[For] an entire sequence of causes… we don’t have an understanding on this market of what CSP is ready to do.”

Wooden final week told RenewEconomy that the adoption of Doosan Škoda Energy generators with a clutch might enhance the economics of Huge’s photo voltaic thermal know-how by competing within the grid providers market, whereas additionally serving to hasten the exit of the standard suppliers of synchronous energy, coal and fuel turbines.

“By the point we’ve acquired one thing established and there’s one thing for folks to see… we’re assured this may be the catalyst for the know-how to take off in Australia,” he advised RenewEconomy this week.

“What’s extra, the venture would be the catalyst for a concentrated photo voltaic thermal know-how export trade that brings jobs and billions of {dollars} in export income, and helps Australia turn into a clear power superpower.”

Wooden says that Port Augusta, with its place on the grid and its plentiful sunshine, stays “a cracking place” to construct a photo voltaic thermal plant, however that there’s a little bit of flexibility on the venture’s actual location.

Huge’s plans, at this stage, will not be linked with these of thermal power storage hopeful 1414 Levels, which in late 2019 bought up the Australian assets of SolarReserve, together with the rights to the failed Aurora CSP venture, which had secured state approvals for improvement.

Feedback from South Australia’s newly reinstated Labor power minister, Tom Koutsantonis, recommend the state authorities might be supportive of Huge’s plans for Port Augusta, and the corporate is hopeful that federal Labor – ought to it win the upcoming Might election – will even be on board.

Huge Photo voltaic is at the moment engaged on a significant venture within the Mt Isa area, in addition to different components of the primary grid and a few off-grid tasks. Wooden says the curiosity from mining firms is growing.

Sophie VorrathSophie Vorrath


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