Australian news, and some related international items

Australian govt commits $110m for Port Augusta solar towers

Last year, Australia’s clean energy movement had a major victory, with South Australia’s resounding rejection of the plan for nuclear waste importation, (and later for, nuclear power).  Some nuclear proponents also looked to Port August as the place for a nuclear power station.

The Liberal Coalition government now supports a solar power station instead. Of course, they were dragged kicking and screaming, into this, by a piece of deft politicking from Senator Nick Xenophon. But – so keen was PM Turnbull, to get new legislation on tax passed, that he had to swallow his aversion to non fossil-fuel energy. We wait to see how well the govt carries out this commitment

Coalition commits $110m for Port Augusta solar towers By  on 31 March 2017 The federal Coalition government has announced that it will provide $110 million in concessional loans to a solar tower and molten salt storage project in Port Augusta, as part of last minute negotiations with the Nick Xenophon Party to pass major tax cuts.

The commitment was announced by finance minister Mathias Cormann as part of a deal with the NXT to approve tax cuts for businesses with revenue of less than $50 million.

Senator Cormann says the Coalition will provide a confessional loan  of $110 million in 3 per cent interest rate to an unspecified solar thermal project. He said the government will call for formal proposals via the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Clean Energy Finance Corp.

The front runner for the deal is the 110MW solar tower and molten salt storage project proposed by the US company SolarReserve. Other proposals are likely to come from Vast Solar and others.

“We welcome the announcement today from the Senate, and it is critical step in progressing the project – but the key outcome is to obtain a long term power purchase agreement,” said Daniel Thompson, the Australian development manager for SolarReserve.

Earlier, the energy minister Josh Frydenberg announced that the CEFC would invest $80 million in the 113MW Bodangora wind farm near Wellington in NSW.

“This investment in large-scale renewable energy projects such as Bodangora, is part of the Turnbull Government’s technology neutral, non-ideological approach to provide affordable, reliable electricity as we transition to a lower emission future,” he said in a statement.

The $236 million Bodangora wind farm is expected to be operational in the latter half of 2018.


April 1, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, solar, South Australia, storage

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