EDF Australia and Vast to partner on concentrated solar

Aerial shot of Vast Solar's innovative modular tower solar array (mabanaft)
Vast Solar's innovative modular tower solar array

EDF Australia has committed $16.3 million to Vast Renewables Limited, a renewable energy company specialising in concentrated solar power developer (CSP) energy systems that generate zero-carbon, utility-scale electricity and industrial process heat.

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The companies will partner to develop Australian CSP projects that will further Australia’s transition to a clean-energy economy.

Vast’s proprietary CSP v3.0 technology has received significant support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), which announced approval for up to $65 million in conditional grant funding to support the construction of Vast Solar 1 (VS1), a planned 30MW CSP plant with 288MWh of thermal storage in Port Augusta, South Australia.

VS1 will be co-located with Vast’s planned Solar Methanol 1 (SM1), a world-first green methanol demonstration plant led by Vast and German integrated energy giant Mabanaft, which was awarded $19.48 million and EUR 13.2 million of conditional grant funding from an Australian and German government collaboration.

Vast CEO Craig Wood said, “As one of the largest energy utilities in the world, EDF operates gigawatts of renewable projects and has world-leading expertise in the use of sodium as a heat transfer fluid. We look forward to working with EDF Australia to deliver long-duration storage and green fuels projects, using our CSP technology to accelerate the decarbonisation of Australian industry.”

Related article: EDF Renewables acquires Newcastle Offshore Wind project

Vast founder Johnny Kahlbetzer said, “It’s fantastic to have EDF validate our 14-year journey. Such development is integral to what AgCentral and the Twynam Earth Fund are all about, finding important decarbonisation technologies and getting them to market.”

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