World’s Largest Linear Fresnel Solar Power Station Commences Operation

AUSTELA member Novatec Solar has announced the commencement of operations of its 30MW Puerto Errado 2 (PE2) concentrating solar thermal power (CSP) station in Spain, the largest CSP plant in the world using linear Fresnel CSP solar array technology.

Novatec Solar is majority owned by Australia's Transfield Holdings. Global power and automation company ABB acquired a 35% interest in Novatec Solar in 2011.

Transfield Holdings' leadership in the development of Novatec Solar's technology, manufacturing capabilities, and project development and delivery capabilities, is a leading example of the ability of Australian industry to innovate and commercialise solar thermal power technologies.

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AUSTELA and other solar energy bodies collaborate to present CSP perspectives at ARENA's National Consultation Forum

As part of the consultation program being implemented by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to inform the development of its funding guidelines and program strategy, ARENA held a National Consultation Forum in Melbourne on 21 August 2012. AUSTELA was asked to make a presentation at the Forum on behalf of the concentrating solar thermal power industry in Australia.

AUSTELA's presentation highlights the versatility of solar thermal power technologies, the high value of CSP generation, the value of thermal energy storage in Australia's future electricity system, and the potential for broader application of CSP in emerging high-value segments such as solar fuels.

The presentation also highlights the potential for CSP to help reduce electricity network costs that are the major drivers of electricity price rises, an issue to be addressed in detail in AUSTELA's upcoming research study, 'The Potential Network Benefits of Solar Thermal Power Generation in the NEM'.

Building on the findings of the major report 'Realising the Potential for Concentrating Solar Power in Australia', the presentation offered proposals for ARENA's new programs for the support of large-scale solar thermal power in Australia.

The presentation can be viewed here.

Australian Renewable Energy Agency call for submissions - general funding strategy

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has released a consultation draft of its General Funding Strategy, and is seeking submissions by 27 August 2012.

The general funding strategy will set the principal objectives and priorities for ARENA’s activities and define the manner in which ARENA will be able to provide financial assistance for the development and deployment of renewable energy technology.

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Solar Generation. Australian Market Modelling

Building on the evidence in the major industry report 'Realising the Potential for CSP in Australia, a new report - also released on 6 June 2012 - provides further analysis illustrating the value of solar thermal power in the Australian electricity market.

The Australian Solar Institute commissioned ROAM Consulting to conduct detailed modelling of the interaction between solar generation and the Australian electricity markets in order to identify the potential value of solar generation (including the incremental value of energy storage and gas hybridisation of solar thermal power) in the market.

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Solar Flagships project update

The Solar Dawn project, approved for funding under the Commonwealth Government's Solar Flagships program with a major contribution from the Queensland Government, has announced that it has not yet achieved financial close. An extension had been granted to 30 June 2012 to allow additional time for the project proponents to achieve financial close. With the passing of that deadline, it currently appears likely the Queensland Government's commitment to the project, under review following the change of Government in Queensland earlier this year, will be withdrawn. Solar Dawn has made a statement reiterating the economic and environmental benefits of the project. Read more...

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Australian Solar Thermal Energy Association Ltd
ACN: 149 005 210
c/o IT Power
PO Box 6127
ACT 2602, Australia