The operators of two coal-fired power stations in South Australia will consider a switch to solar thermal electricity generation following a move by the federal government to abandon plans to pay some power stations to c
The operators of two coal-fired power stations in South Australia will consider a switch to solar thermal electricity generation following a move by the federal government to abandon plans to pay some power stations to close down.
Alinta Energy owns and operates the 240 megawatt Playford Power Station and the 540 MW Northern Northern Power Station at Port Augusta. The Playford station is not currently operating and was one of those to be mothballed under the federal government’s plan.
Energy Minister Martin Ferguson announced the so-called contract for closure program would be scrapped because coal-fired generators thought their assets were worth more than the government was willing to pay.
‘‘Alinta Energy respects the federal government’s decision to not proceed with the contract for closure program; clearly the views on commercial asset value were out of alignment,’’ the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
‘‘In light of today’s announcement, Alinta Energy is considering the implications for the Flinders assets in SA and the potential for investment in solar thermal power.’’
In the short term, Alinta said the Northern Power Station would continue to operate during the coming summer with the Playford station remaining available subject to market conditions.
Solar thermal has the potential to provide base load electricity by using large solar collectors to generate heat which is then used to drive turbines.
Port Augusta city officials have previously backed plans for a shift to the new technology.