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Port Augusta home to new $650 million solar thermal plant


Source: The Advertiser

PORT Augusta will be home to a new $650 million solar thermal power plant that supplies all of the State Government’s power needs.

SolarReserve will build the 150MW plant, which will be operational in about three years. Its standard output under normal conditions will be 135MW, with the capability of exceeding that during the evening peak demand in favourable conditions.

Construction is set to begin in 2018 and be complete by 2020, creating an expected 650 construction jobs and 50 ongoing positions.

SolarReserve will pay to construct the plant and the State Government will buy the power it generates over a 20-year contract.

The project will rely on a $110 million concessional equity loan from the Federal Government, which was promised as part of negotiations with South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon on the Commonwealth’s company tax cuts legislation.

The plant, to be built about 30km north of the town on state-owned land, will be able to store between eight and 10 hours of energy so it can operate when the sun is not shining.

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