Vast Solar wins SolarPACES 2019 Technology Innovation Award

Concentrated solar thermal power (CSP) company Vast Solar has recently been awarded the Technology Innovation Award at the International Energy Agency's SolarPACES 2019 Conference in South Korea.

The award recognises their progress in the development of their world-first CSP technology that combines the use of a modular tower system with molten sodium as the heat transfer fluid.

Vast Solar is aiming to develop a cost-competitive dispatchable power system that takes advantage of both the reliability of trough plants and the high temperatures (and therefore high thermodynamic efficiencies) of central tower systems.

The technology has been proven in a pilot plant constructed in Jemalong, New South Wales. The demonstration plant is capable of producing up to 6MWth and 1.1MW of electricity generation and received grant funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

Following the award ceremony, CEO Craig Wood said: “We are now totally focused on developing our Reference Plant which will prove the technology at commercial scale. From there, we anticipate our technology playing a critical role in energy production in suitable climates around the world, generating clean, reliable energy at low cost.”

Vast Solar has been working on the development of a commercial-scale 30 MW CSP plant and it recently announced the completion of capital raising.

Vast Solar website


Submission to the Australian Government’s Underwriting New Generation Investments program

In the latest iteration of the Australian Federal Government's approach to new electricity generation, they have called for responses to a concept of underwriting new generation investments new investment "in firm or firmed generation capacity to increase competition and reduce electricity prices. The new program also aims to improve reliability and security by increasing the level of firm capacity in the system." See

Austela has provided a submission to this process (LINK).

Results from ARENA's RFI on CST Projects

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) issued a Request for Information (RFI) to test the market for CST projects in Australia. The RFI process closed on 31 July 2017 and a synthesis of responses, prepared by ITP, is now publically available. The report can be downloaded HERE.

Growing momentum for CST in Australia

In the context of the recent decision to build a 150 MW solar thermal power plant with 8 hours of full-load thermal energy storage to diversify and stabilize South Australia’s electricity system, followed by its development approval earlier this month, concentrated solar thermal energy is experiencing increasing interest from different government entities and companies in Australia.

Read more:

150 MW Solar Thermal Power Plant in Port Augusta Announced

On 14 August 2017, South Australian Premier, Jay Weatherill, announced that a solar thermal power plant in Port Augusta, SA has been secured. Construction of the 150 MW Aurora Solar Energy Project will start in 2018 and is planned to be completed by 2020. The power plant will supply dispatchable power to the State Government's needs with 8 to 10 hours of full-load thermal energy storage and will create more than 700 jobs

News article on ABC

SolarReserve project page


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Contact Details

Australian Solar Thermal Energy Association Ltd
ACN: 149 005 210
PO Box 6127
ACT 2602, Australia