11 May 2010
The Australian Government has awarded $92 million to two large-scale solar energy demonstration projects.
The two projects are:
1) 23 megawatt solar boost to coal-fired turbines at Kogan Creek, near Chinchilla in western Queensland ($32 million), using Ausra (now Areva) Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector technology
2) 40 megawatt concentrated solar thermal demonstration plant at Whyalla, South Australia, using Australia’s own “Big Dish” technology ($60 million).
Combined with investment from the successful applicants, the two projects will deliver about $320 million in solar energy investment in Australia and more than 60 megawatts equivalent of solar peak load generation capacity, within the next four years. These projects will save almost 100,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year.
Additional details of the projects follows:
• CS Energy Pty Ltd – $31.8 million
The CS Energy project at Kogan Creek in Queensland will demonstrate the Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector (CLFR) solar array technology developed in Australia by Ausra Pty Ltd. This technology is now being marketed world-wide by the Areva Group. The project will be attached to the existing Kogan Creek A Power Station to provide a 23 megawatt equivalent superheated steam solar boost to the coal-fired turbines. This will allow an increase in energy output as well as saving around 35,600 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. CS Energy is a Queensland Government-owned corporation.
• N.P. Power Pty Ltd (Whyalla Solar Oasis Consortium) – $60.0 million
The Whyalla Solar Oasis Consortium will demonstrate Wizard Power’s ‘Big Dish’ concentrated solar thermal power generation technology developed at the Australian 2 National University in 1994. The 40 megawatt demonstration plant at Whyalla will utilise 300 ‘Big Dish’ solar thermal concentrators that will be built on site using Wizard Power Pty Ltd’s proprietary factory-in-the-field concept. The technology is easily scalable and a successful demonstration of the ‘Big Dish’ technology will open the way for further deployment of the technology, both within Australia and overseas. The project will generate power for about 9,500 average households and save about 60,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year. The Whyalla Solar Oasis Consortium consists of N.P. Power Pty Ltd, Sustainable Power Partners Pty Ltd and Wizard Power Pty Ltd.
AuSES welcomes this funding announcement, and congratulates the two projects selected. We look forward to seeing the emergence of large scale solar as a result of this announcement.