The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) today announced it would partner with natural gas and electricity provider, Alinta, and the South Australian Government to undertake a $2.3 million study into solar thermal power generation at Port Augusta.
This collaborative project will boost the nation’s solar thermal knowledge base and strengthen relationships between government, power generators, the solar thermal industry and the broader renewable energy sector.
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the feasibility study would provide an exciting opportunity to progress solar thermal in Australia.
“ARENA is pleased to contribute $1 million to this project which will help advance our knowledge of the potential for solar thermal power generation in the region,” Mr Frischknecht said.
“Tapping into our plentiful solar resources will ensure renewables are well placed to contribute to electricity generation in Australia.
“This latest partnership is an important step in our renewables journey – it complements existing solar thermal projects in Australia and will help create a framework of research, development and demonstration.”
Mr Frischknecht said the study would look into hybridised and standalone solar thermal power generation options for Port Augusta’s three power stations – Northern Power Stations 1 and 2 and Playford B Power Station.
“Many of our coal fired power stations are nearing the end of their life cycle, presenting a clear opportunity for renewable hybrid options,” Mr Frischknecht said.
“This timely study in South Australia will include a full feasibility stage exploring plant design, site and technical details.”
Alinta is also investing $1.2 million in the solar thermal project with the South Australian Government contributing $132,000.
It is scheduled for completion by April 2016.