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South Australia invests in the future with Port Augusta solar thermal project

The Clean Energy Council has welcomed the South Australian Government’s announcement that it will buy the electricity from a 150 MW solar thermal plant in Port Augusta to meet its electricity needs.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said the price which the government would pay for electricity from the solar thermal plant was exceptionally low for a technology which is still fairly new in Australia.

“The solar thermal plant will produce electricity which is available even when the sun isn’t shining. At $78 per megawatt-hour, that’s a remarkable achievement,” Mr Thornton said.

“Solar thermal power can also provide important services to help ensure the security of the power system. It is great to see the South Australian Government investing in the future with this landmark clean energy project.”

The $650 million solar thermal plant will be developed by SolarReserve and is expected to be completed in 2020. It is estimated that it will create 650 local jobs during construction and 50 ongoing positions.

Th power plant will use solar tower technology similar to what SolarReserve has previously delivered at its Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project in the United States.

The Clean Energy Council recently supported the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) in further investigating concentrated solar thermal technology through its Advancing Renewables program.