Vast Solar unveiled plans for $600m dispatchable solar in Mount Isa

Austela member and solar thermal developer Vast Solar has unveiled plans to provide 50MW of 24/7 continuous power to Mount Isa in North West Queensland with a “baseload” solar plant that will combine solar thermal, solar PV, battery storage and back up gas generators.

The plant will include a 50 MW solar thermal system with 14 hours of storage, based on Vast Solar's modular molten sodium-based technology, that will generate about half of the total power output.

The project is expected to provide cheaper energy to the local electricity market, currently powered by gas generators.

Read the dedicated news article on RenewEconomy.

 

John Cockerill's solar receiver installed at Chile's Cerro Dominador CSP plant

The 110 MW Cerro Dominador solar thermal project, owned by EIG Global Energy Partners and built by Acciona and AUSTELA's member Abengoa in the Atacama Desert in Chile, has just achieved one of the key milestones of its construction: the raising and installation of the 2300 tonnes John Cockerill Energy's solar receiver at 220 meters high. The receiver was assembled at the bottom of the tower and then lifted using 16 hydraulic jacks.

Read the news on the project's website

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 https://www.environment.gov.au/energy/underwritingnewgeneration

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.

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Contact Details (2)

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