*Pic: A solar Thermal Plant in operation. Pic – Solar Reserve (facebook)
First published August 21
It was less than a year ago that the Turnbull government ferociously attacked renewable energy after the massive electricity blackout in South Australia.
Yet within this relatively short time-span the South Australian Weatherill government has confidently announced they have signed contract to provide all the state’s power needs through the construction of a massive Solar Thermal Plant at Port Augusta.
Unlike South Australia’s current wind and photovoltaic energy supply, the new solar thermal plant, due to be up and running by 2020, will be a 150 Megawatts of baseload power, and is said to supply 100% of the state’s projected energy needs.
In September 2016, the Weatherill government launched a tender process to procure 75 per cent of its long-term power supply requirements, and was keen to attract a new competitor onto the market that would provide more stable energy, which should ultimately lead to lower power prices.
The South Australian government contract with the United States operator Solar Reserve will last for 20 years. This project in composite with the Lyons Group $1 billion 330 Megawatt Riverland solar farm, and Tesla’s Lithium-ion battery storage system, will be the solution to the state’s energy woes. All this seems to have resolved the future energy crisis rather quickly.
A composite integrated power system will give South Australia far more energy independence, and probably eliminate the need for the proposed second interconnector between SA and NSW. This alone would save near $1billion in estimated costs.
It’s a simple equation - more renewables means less coal combustion. The rapidly declining demand for coal in South Australia’s energy production will send a frightening message to the Turnbull Government and the nation’s coal magnates.
These future energy projects in South Australia will be the flagship of where renewable energy production is heading in Australia.
South Australian renewable infrastructure will stamp its name against any proposed clean-coal thermal power stations, both on cost efficiency and emission outputs.
It’s time to start turning the boilers off now Malcolm!
Ted Mead has been watching with interest as to how South Australia was going to deal with its patchwork integrated energy system. Despite the federal Liberal government’s attack on South Australia’s energy infrastructure, and its attempt to discourage renewable energy across the nation, Ted is relieved to see that private investment has finally eclipsed Liberal policy, and is now leading the charge to providing alternative energy sources.