The new solar thermal plant at Port Augusta is set to begin construction this year with the project receiving development approval from the State Government.
SolarReserve’s $650 million Aurora plant, which will use mirrors to heat molten salt and store energy, will supply 100 per cent of the State Government electricity load from 2020, after it won a competitive tender process.
The project will also supply the broader market, enhancing competition and putting downward pressure on power prices.
The 150MW solar thermal power plant, 30 km north of Port Augusta, will be the biggest of its kind in the world and create about 650 local jobs during construction and 50 ongoing positions.
SolarReserve is a privately held, venture capital-backed renewable energy company based in California. It is a leading developer of concentrated solar power utilising proprietary molten salt storage technology.
Acting Energy Minister Chris Picton said this approval will add new competition to the South Australian market, putting downward pressure on power prices.
“South Australia is fast becoming a global centre for the development of renewable energy with storage, with a range of other projects set to come online over the next few years.”
SolarReserve CEO Kevin Smith said the transition of Port Augusta from coal to renewable energy is a remarkable story.
“It is also a preview of the future of power generation around the world.”