The time has come for countries that are signed to the Paris climate agreement ( that is all but 4 ), to start to plan and act to meet the voluntary co2 goals that they all agreed to. Limiting the amount of additional global co2 will work to stabilize the changing climate that is seen everywhere around the world today. In Australia, they have started to make their clean energy plan, a reality, while creating economic opportunity for their country.
SolarReservehas signed a long-term Generation Project Agreement (GPA) to build a 150megawatt solar thermal power station with 8 hours of energy storage near the town of Port Augusta, South Australia.
The GPA with the State Government of South Australia was signed earlier this month at a ceremony with Jay Weatherill, Premier of South Australia and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis.
“The Port Augusta story is a stark example of the transition of the South Australian economy, with the closure of a dirty coal fired power station, and now the commissioning of this world leading renewable energy project,” said South Australia’s Premier Jay Weatherill.
“The Aurora Solar Energy Project will also create new, advanced employment opportunities in regional South Australia,” said South Australia’s Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis.
We are using our energy plan to drive investment and jobs in this growing sector.
Providing Power When It’s Needed Most
The first of its kind in Australia, the Aurora Solar Energy Project will utilize SolarReserve’s leading solar thermal-technology with integrated molten salt energy storage. With a massive 1,100megawatt-hours of energy storage capability, Aurora will be the largest project of its kind in the world, designed to meet the South Australian Government’s annual electricity consumption.
Here are great pictures of the Solar Reserve Technology as it looks today in Nevada.
Crescent Dune’s 1.1 gigawatt-hour storage capability alone is about equal to all the world’s utility scale batteries combined.
The storage technology developed by SolarReserve eliminates the need for any backup fossil fuels
Within the black tube walls of the receiver, molten salt flows through the piping and absorbs the heat from the concentrated sunlight.
The project will deliver enough firm, reliable electricity from solar to power 75,000 homes in Nevada during peak demand periods, day and night.
The Generation Project Agreement is similar to a Power Purchase Agreement for renewable energy, except that emphasis is placed on the available capacity of the facility during peak demand periods rather than just the energy that can be delivered in kilowatt-hours.
The Crescent Dunes plant is a tremendous success story for US-developed technology that is leading the world in solar energy storage.
Aurora will deliver power into the National Electricity Market (NEM) at high-value electricity periods, providing additional capacity, energy security, and reliability services, as well as competition into the South Australian market.“SolarReserve’senergy storage technology is an excellent fit for the South Australian electricity system”, said SolarReserve’s CEO Kevin Smith.
Aurora will provide much-needed capacity and firm energy delivery into the South Australian market to reduce price volatility.SolarReserve looks forward to continuing to work with the South Australian government and stakeholders, including the Port Augusta community where the project is located, to support Federal and State renewable energy targets, stimulate long-term economic development, and create new jobs and businesses.
Creating Jobs and Economic Benefits for South Australia –Today and tomorrow because a solar thermal power station operates like a conventional coal or gas power station, many of the jobs require the same skill sets as conventional energy jobs –from its construction phase through to operations.
SolarReserve owns the proprietary receiver and controls technology, developed for more than two decades, with over 100 patents and patents pending.
Aurora is an example of how sustainable solutions are able to foster new industries and create new jobs for South Australia:
4,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs will be created during construction, with a significant portion of that created in South Australia
650 full-time construction jobs are expected for a duration of 30 month
50 full-time, permanent jobs will be required for operations and maintenance
Equipment and services will be purchased across South Australia, which will support an entirely new industry and develop a supply chain which will be leveraged for other solar thermal projects in South Australia and the broader regions part of this transformative project.
SolarReserve will be establishing a research partnership with South Australian universities to advance solar thermal research and education in South Australia.“The Aurora project brings the most advanced power generation technology to South Australia, supporting its energy security and carbon reduction objectives,” said Tom Georgis, SolarReserve’s Senior Vice President of Development for SolarReserve.
It also represents a significant opportunity for South Australian workers and businesses to participate in this exciting project.
Here is a recent video outlining this zero emission, US developed clean technology. The Australian generator will be similar to the Nevada project shown in the videos
Here is a time lapse video showing the construction of world’s first utility scale molten salt power tower project, located in Nevada. With 10 hours of energy storage, the facility generates solar electricity even after the sun has set!
The project is a tremendous success story for U.S. develop the technology. The project created over 4,300 direct, indirect and induced jobs, with more than 1,000 construction workers on site during peak construction.
Location: Tonopah, Nevada, USA
Technology: CSP with Molten Salt Thermal Energy Storage
Size: 110 MW facility output
Storage: 10 hours of full load storage, enabling on-demand energy production day and night
Electricity Production: More than 500,000 MW-hours annually
Power Purchaser: 25-year contract with NV Energy
Homes Powered: 75,000 homes during peak demandKEY PROJECT BENEFITS:
No requirement for natural gas or oil back up – completely emission free
Progresses U.S. clean energy technology with the industry’s most advanced energy storage project
Energy storage provides a firm, reliable electricity product on-demand, day and night
Helps meet growing demand for clean, renewable energy sources
Significantly reduces the use of water for cooling by using an efficient, low-water hybrid cooling system
About Gordon Smith Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.