Advanced solar generation project set to transform SA power supply

SolarReserve Australia is calling for expressions of interest in the Aurora Solar Energy Project, set to be most advanced solar power generation technology in the country.

The 150MW Solar Thermal Project, with 1100 MW hours of energy storage to meet peak electricity requirements, will be built about 30kms north of Port Augusta, thanks to a long-term Generation Project Agreement with the State Government.

‘SolarReserve’s energy storage technology is an excellent fit for the South Australian electricity system,’ SolarReserve’s CEO Kevin Smith said.

‘Aurora will provide much needed capacity and firm energy delivery into the South Australian market to reduce price volatility. SolarReserve looks forward to continuing to work with the South Australian government and stakeholders, including the Port Augusta community where the project is located, to support Federal and State renewable energy targets, stimulate long-term economic development, and create new jobs and businesses.’

State Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis said the project would create new, advanced employment opportunities in regional South Australia.

‘We are using our energy plan to drive investment and jobs in this growing sector,’ he said.

A solar thermal power station operates like a conventional coal or gas power station, so many of the jobs will require the same skill sets as those in conventional energy – from its construction phase through to operations.

‘The Port Augusta story is a stark example of the transition of the South Australian economy, with the closure of a dirty coal fired power station, and now the commissioning of this world leading renewable energy project,’ South Australia’s Premier Jay Weatherill said.

The project will create:

  • 4000 direct, indirect and induced jobs during construction, with a significant portion of those created in South Australia
  • 650 full time construction jobs for a duration of 30 months
  • 50 full-time, permanent jobs for operations and maintenance.

Meanwhile, equipment and services will be purchased across South Australia, supporting an entirely new industry and developing a supply chain that can be leveraged for other solar thermal projects in South Australia and beyond.

ICN SA’s Bettina Venner said SolarReserve encouraged local industry interested in supplying to the project to register an expression of interest (EOI) through the ICN Gateway webpage.

‘Information on specific supply opportunities will also be communicated on the project page as it becomes available, with local industry able to register its interest against them,’ she said, adding that interested business should ensure their Gateway profile is up to date.

Construction of the Aurora Solar Energy Project is expected to begin in 2018 and take about 30 months. SolarReserve will be consolidating all EOIs and providing them to an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor yet to be selected. Once selected, all supplier contracts will be directly with the EPC contractor; SolarReserve does not expect to be contracting directly.

Local businesses who want to improve their understanding of the EOI Process are encouraged to contact ICN South Australia on 1300 553 309.

For more information, or to submit an EOI, go to the Aurora Energy Gateway page.