South Australia is going big again — as in world-beating big. Last month the state government signed a deal with Tesla to build the world’s largest lithium-ion battery storage facility. Now State Premier Jay Weatherill has announced plans to construct the world’s biggest single-tower solar thermal plant outside the city of Port Augusta — the 150 megawatt Aurora Solar Energy Project.
The AUD $650 million (US $512 million) plant will start construction in 2018 and be fully operational in 2020 — supplying 100 percent of the government’s energy needs. The project will deliver more than 700 jobs with local worker requirements.
The 20-year contract to build and manage the Aurora plant was awarded to California-based SolarReserve. The company’s $1 billion Crescent Dunes facility in Nevada was shut down for eight months due to structural fault. The Nevada facility was the first to use molten salt technology to store energy as heat — allowing for day and night operation. The South Australia facility will also use molten salt technology.
“This will make a difference in the South Australia energy market,” said South Australian senator Nick Xenophon. “It will secure the grid and mean more baseload power than intermittent power.”
Via New Atlas
Image via SolarReserve