The proponents of a $650 million solar thermal project planned for Port Augusta, South Australia say it will be difficult to get off the ground without government funding based on a report by ABC News. US-based Solar Reserve CEO Kevin Smith visited a site near the Stuart Highway where his firm is interested to build a solar thermal plant. He said that it was a perfect site and is similar to the site they have built in Nevada. A solar plant in Port Augusta would use more than 10,000 billboard-sized solar mirrors to concentrate the sun’s rays to generate heat. The energy would be stored in molten salts so the plant will be able to produce baseload power 24 hours a day just like a traditional coal-fired generator. Mr. Smith was very keen to provide a contract for 75% of the State Government’s long-term power needs after they announced last week that they wanted to introduce a new competitor in the market and reduce prices. Mr. Smith said that they will be looking to bid into those tenders with the Government of South Australia to provide a long-term revenue stream for the project. State Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis stated that Solar Reserve was welcome to tender. He also said that they would require generation by the end of 2017. Click here to read the story on ABC News Featured Image Credit: Portland General Electric
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