Australia has some of the highest readings in the world for Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI) the solar radiation used in Concentrating Solar Thermal (CST).
The Queensland government has received 115 proposals from 79 different firms for its recently launched tender for the “Renewables 400” program. Among them are dispatchable concentrated solar thermal (D-CST) proposals with molten salt energy storage, according to Queensland Energy Minister Mark Bailey:
“A number of these projects could be first of a kind in Queensland, including concentrated solar thermal technology which provides dispatchable energy supply – like the Crescent Dunes facility in the Nevada desert, powering Las Vegas overnight,” said Bailey.
The program calls for the development of 400MW of large-scale renewables and 100MW of energy storage projects.
“Renewable energy and storage technology will play an important role in the transition to a lower carbon energy future and we are doing everything we can to ensure the benefits of this new investment flow into the Queensland economy,” said Bailey
The businesses placed bids for renewable energy projects from a range of technologies and energy storage projects.
These included 2200MW of wind energy projects, more than 6400MW of solar and about 500MW of other renewable energy technologies in addition to 6,000MW of energy storage projects.
Bailey added: “This is greater than the current 8,200MW generated by coal-fired power stations and is further proof that Queensland does not need a new coal-fired power station being trumpeted by the LNP.”
Australia’s first utility-scale D-CST contract was recently awarded in Port Augusta at the lowest price in the world to SolarReserve.
“A number of these projects could be first of a kind in Queensland, including concentrated solar thermal technology which provides dispatchable energy supply – like the Crescent Dunes facility in the Nevada desert, powering Las Vegas overnight,” he added.
The Palaszczuk Government aims to generate 50% of its power from renewable sources by 2030.
The final stage of the tender process is scheduled to commence in November 2017.