A solar thermal power plant is to be built in South Australia by SolarReserve. The 150 MW plant will be located 300 KM north of Adelaide and will cost A$650m.
The plant will incorporate eight hours of storage or 1100 megawatts-hours, allowing it to operate like a conventional coal or gas power station. It will have a capacity of about 135MW under normal operating conditions with the ability to increase that output in favourable conditions.
Aurora will deliver 495 gigawatt-hours of power annually – providing fully dispatchable baseload electricity to the network.
In September 2016 the State Government launched a tender process to procure 75 per cent of its long-term power supply in order to attract a new competitor into the electricity market, increasing competition and putting downward pressure on power prices.
The offer from SolarReserve was the lowest-cost option of the shortlisted bids with the Government paying no more than $78/MWh.
SolarReserve CEO Kevin Smith said energy storage technology was an excellent fit for the South Australian electricity system and would create jobs and stimulate long-term economic development.
Australian Solar Council and Energy Storage Council Chief Executive John Grimes said the project was a huge win for South Australia, which has faced a difficult 12-months of power outages and electricity price increases.
“Solar thermal in Port Augusta means jobs for regional South Australia. It means zero emissions baseload power,” he said.
The plant will be situated about 150km northwest of Jamestown, where Elon Musk will install the world’s largest Lithium-ion battery at Hornsdale Wind Farm, as the state continues to demonstrate a pioneering commitment to clean energy.