Open Letter Urges Solar Thermal For Port Augusta

The PS10 and PS20 solar power plant near Seville, Spain
Europe's first commercial concentrating solar power tower plant was opened near Seville, Spain. The 11MW plant, known as the PS10 solar power tower, produces electricity with 624 large heliostats

On the three month anniversary of the Port Augusta coal station closing community leaders, businesses and unions sent an open letter to Premier Weatherill urging the SA Government to back solar thermal in the region.

Signed by parties including the Mayor of Port Augusta, Port Augusta City Council and Repower Port Augusta, the letter said Port Augusta can become the home of clean power generation for South Australia by building the country’s first large-scale solar thermal plant with storage.

“We’re asking you to commit the South Australian Government to using your power purchase to support the construction of a large solar thermal plant in Port Augusta,” the letter said.

“Projects like this would support your Government’s aspiration of South Australia being the Just Transition capital of the world. This critical intervention will create badly needed jobs, on-demand clean power and start a new industry for our community and South Australia.

“Please Premier Weatherill, make solar thermal happen for Port Augusta.”

The Repower Port Augusta Alliance has developed a solid proposal to replace the coal plants with six solar thermal plants and 95 wind turbines. This could create up to 1800 jobs, save 5 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, improve the health of the local community and ensure energy security and stable electricity prices, according to the Alliance.

Development approval has been granted for a huge wind and solar farm to be constructed in the Port Augusta region of South Australia.

Irish renewables firm DP Energy said it has received development approval from South Australian Government for the 375MW Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park. The project involves the installation of solar PV panels on almost 400ha of land, along with 59 wind turbines.

When the plant becomes operational, it will produce about 1000GWh of electricity per year, enough to power about 200,000 households.