The RayGen Solar Power Plant Demonstration will demonstrate and validate the performance and cost of RayGen’s innovative solar-plus-storage technology
The RayGen Solar Power Plant Demonstration project acknowledges that transition from fossil fuel power to renewable generation is occurring at global scale and with rapid urgency. A major challenge facing the global electricity sector is how to integrate intermittent renewable generation while preserving the reliability, security, and affordability of electricity supply. Grid-scale energy storage will play a key enabling role in the transition from baseload energy generation provided by fossil fuels to a reliable power supply underwritten by renewable generation.
Grid-scale energy solutions that are commercially available have limiting characteristics. Pumped hydro storage is limited by geographical constraints. Lithium-ion batteries are only commercially attractive when storing power for short duration. RayGen’s solution offers a new alternative – presenting the cost-economics of pumped hydro and the siting flexibility of batteries.
RayGen’s flagship project will supply synchronous, dispatchable power where it is critically needed in the West Murray region of the National Electricity Market. RayGen’s solar-plus-storage technology has a flexible operating philosophy that can store power from both RayGen solar generation and the grid. It provides a solution to grid congestion by storing excess electricity generation from intermittent renewables and increases the value of renewable energy by acting as a dispatchable generator that can respond to market factors.
Media Release: World-First ‘Solar Hydro’ Power Plant Addresses Need for Longer Duration Energy Storage
ARENA funding to RayGen to construct its first of a kind ‘solar hydro’ power plant comprising 4 MW of solar PV generation and 3 MW / 50 MWh (17 hours) of dispatchable storage capacity in north-west Victoria.
The project will consist of two activities:
- Development, deployment, and commissioning of Flagship project
- Development of a 100 MW manufacturing line.
The flagship project involves the first demonstration scale deployment of RayGen’s proprietary solar-plus-storage technology. The technology comprises two components: RayGen solar (PV Ultra) and RayGen storage (Thermal Hydro). PV Ultra is RayGen’s concentrating solar PV technology. Thermal Hydro is RayGen’s electro-thermal storage system.
The project is located in Carwarp, Victoria, and will comprise 4 MW solar and 3 MW / 50 MWh storage. The development phase of this project was supported by ARENA and developed in partnership with AGL Energy and GHD Engineering. The project will deliver synchronous, long-duration storage to the grid. It will provide renewable energy to approximately 380 homes per year.
The flagship project represents a world-first deployment of RayGen’s solar-plus-storage technology, which has potential to replace coal and gas fired generation with 100% renewable power.
The key component of RayGen’s solar and storage technology is a high efficiency solar module. The module is protected by patent families and is manufactured in Australia, at RayGen’s head office. As part of this project, RayGen will expand its manufacturing facility from 25 MW p.a. to 125 MW p.a. to allow for future project deployment.
RayGen’s project aims to achieve the following outcomes:
- increased skills, capacity and knowledge of renewable energy technologies by demonstrating the technical performance and scalability of RayGen’s solar-plus-storage technology to de-risk future projects
- increase in the value delivered by renewable energy by demonstrating the commercial viability and value proposition of RayGen’s solar-plus-storage technology as a dispatchable, medium duration storage technology for customers, off-takers, developers and investors
- optimise the design, construction, operation and maintenance of RayGen’s solar-plus-storage technology to drive cost reductions and improve performance for future large-scale deployments; and
- demonstrate a potential pathway to achieve the Low Emissions Technology Statement (LETS) Stretch Goal of $100/MWh for medium duration firming of renewable energy, noting that additional grant support and/or concessional funding may be required to support subsequent commercial-scale deployments of RayGen’s solar-plus-storage technology and will be critical in the ultimate commercialisation of RayGen’s solar-plus-storage technology.
RayGen’s flagship project demonstrates a world-first combination of existing technologies. The constituent components of RayGen’s storage (pit thermal energy storage and Organic Rankine Cycle turbine) have significant volumes deployed globally but limited application in Australia. As such, the project will bring new, class-leading technology and new engineering and construction techniques to Australia. New technologies, skills and capabilities from RayGen’s projects will have relevant applications across the wider energy and water resources industries.
RayGen’s flagship project will create up to 70 jobs during construction, commissioning and ongoing operations.