Ratch shelves CSP plans over feasibility doubts

Plans to build Australia’s first base-load solar power station in north Queensland have been abandoned.

The independent power producer has axed plans to replace the 180MW coal-fired Collinsville Power Plant, located south of Townsville, into a concentrated solar power (CSP) park. According to the company, although technically feasible, the project is not economically viable.

More than $5 million has been spent on feasibility studies looking at converting the old coal-fired station into a solar thermal station, as reported by ABC News.

Ratch Australia executive general manager development Geoff Dutton said the projects costs have increased to 84 per cent higher than those initially estimated.

Mr Dutton said the project could not proceed through private enterprise without a level of government support and, under current policy framework, it would not proceed.

He told ABC News he hopes research done by the University of Queensland and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency can be used in future projects.