03/02/2015 - 14:32

Solar thermal project heats up again

03/02/2015 - 14:32

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Plans for a $15 million renewable power station originally slated for a council in the state’s Mid West have been redeveloped for use at a Western Australian mine.

Solar thermal project heats up again
The solar demonstration site plant in Jiangyin, China. Photo: Jiangyin Runyang Solar Power System Co.

Plans for a $15 million renewable power station originally slated for a council in the state’s Mid West have been redeveloped for use at a Western Australian mine.

West Perth-based Carbon Reduction Ventures initially designed a solar thermal power station with graphite energy storage technology from Sydney-based Solastor for the Morawa shire, which has suffered from brownouts and blackouts because it is on the edge of the electricity grid.

Following stalled plans and a lack of funds being distributed through the Morawa shire, CRV approached Fremantle-based ASX-listed Enerji to co-develop an improved power station.

Using Enerji’s waste heat technology, the hybrid solar thermal power station has been redesigned to run 24 hours a day and produce 800 kilowatts.

CRV managing director Rob Coltrona told Business News it was too early to divulge which mine the power station would provide power for, and more information about the unique proposal would be forthcoming at a later date.

“This is the first project of its kind in the world,” Mr Coltrona said.

“There’s been a couple of solar hybrids with biomass but never with solar thermal, because most solar thermal doesn’t store the heat at a small enough scale.”

CRV and Enerji have received approval from the state government’s Low Emissions Energy Development fund to transfer $3.7 million earmarked for the initial renewable project in Morawa to the new project.

Part of the transfer requirement involved incorporating a hybrid design, following a push from government agencies to promote the dual-use technology.

“It required us to submit a variation to the government to take the project from what was previously a standalone solar thermal to a hybrid project,” Mr Coltrona said.

“This is in line with the thinking hybrid projects have greater uptake than standalone because the economics are far better, the power generation’s greater and the reliability’s greater because you have two sources (solar heat and waste heat).”

Enerji and CRV have until June 30 of this year to secure a commitment to fund the remainder of the project’s $15.1 million costs.

“We have a number of interested parties that Enerji is in discussion with,” Mr Coltrona said.

Enerji’s shares were up 22 per cent at 3pm WST today at 1.1 cents following the announcement Enerji and CRV had signed a binding agreement to build the project.

 

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