Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said he is pleased Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg has announced the Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), has progressed the development of a solar thermal plant at Port Augusta.
“This announcement is the next step in bringing solar thermal to Port Augusta and confirms the Government’s Budget commitment to make $110 million available for an equity investment to accelerate and secure delivery of a solar plant at Port Augusta,” he said.
“Any stories circulating suggesting that this facility may go elsewhere are false, the Government’s commitment is to Port Augusta.
“ARENA has today requested information from prospective industry participants on the costs and benefits of Concentrated Solar Thermal (CST).
“This information will help ARENA and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to determine the scope and focus of government assistance for the deployment of CST in Australia.
“The Government does not have a preferred technology and quite rightly will be directed by the advice provided by ARENA and the CEFC.”
Mr Ramsey said he visited the SolarReserve solar thermal project in Nevada which was very impressive.
“Certainly they have the runs on the board with a fully operational unit,” he said.
“I also have great respect and interest in the Australian developed technology as promoted by Solastor which is using graphite block technology.
“There may be some advantage to optimising Australia’s manufacturing capacity by backing the Australian company.
“But like the Minister, I will be guided by the advice we receive.”
ARENA is expected to call for funding applications for investment in a CST plant by the end of this year.
Media Contact; Leonie Lloyd-Smith 02 62774967 Canberra 08 8633 1744 Port Pirie Office.
May 24, 2017