Concentrated solar thermalProject CSP Pilot Plant
This report presents an overview of insights and learning drawn from Vast Solar’s journey with regard to financial and institutional innovation and the opportunities and challenges it encountered as it worked to develop new CSP technology, build a world-first CSP Pilot Plant in regional Australia and advance plans to construct a utility scale 30MW reference plant.
The founders of Vast Solar brought to the establishment of the Australian business their considerable knowledge, energy and experience gained from work with research, development and technology start-ups in Australia and the United States. With the support of a long-sighted, private investor with substantial resources and an appetite for innovation in the sustainable industries of the future, they created Vast Solar in 2009.
The over-arching vision for the company was to develop and commercialise new generation CSP technology that would address and overcome the cost and technological constraints of existing CSP offerings. In the early days, in parallel with the vision of creating technological innovations, the business also pursued a vision to create financing innovations for renewable energy developments that would assist fund the business while the CSP technology was being developed.
The financing innovations considered by management at the time included:
- Project development and management of renewable energy project developments that would earn the company management fees
- Financial project development to create syndicated community solar project investments that would earn management fees and generate revenues from renewable energy sales