Repower Port Augusta is calling on the state and federal government to make a Solar Thermal Power Station in Port Augusta a reality.

The call follows around 90,000 Adelaide metropolitan homes and businesses being without power on Wednesday night, February 8.

In a February 9 press conference, South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill promised to ‘intervene dramatically in the electricity market’ and said he’s ‘ruling nothing out at this point’.

Spokesperson for Repower Port Augusta Dan Spencer has urged South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill to use the state government’s power purchase to facilitate the building of a nation leading 24 hour solar thermal plant with storage in Port Augusta.

The purchase would be for around 484 GWH/yr, what some sources have called a good fit for a solar thermal power station with a 110 Mega-Watt capacity.

“Premier Weatherill foreshadowed bold steps to secure South Australia’s energy future today, including using the Government’s power purchase to build a new power station,” he said.

“It’s critical that this is a large solar thermal plant with storage that can deliver clean, reliable and affordable power.

“ … The solution to South Australia’s power future is not more gas but a diversity of renewable sources with storage that South Australians can rely on.”

Mr Spencer said a new gas power station in SA would create more pollution and ‘skyrocketing’ gas prices.

However, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull needs to use existing clean energy funds to make it happen as promised before the Federal Election.

On May 18, 2016, the then federal Energy Minister Greg Hunt said in a National Press Club address, “We have set out when we laid out the Clean Energy Innovation Fund that our number one priority in Australia would be a comprehensive solar thermal plant in Port Augusta.”

Mr Spencer said Malcolm Turnbull should deliver those promised funds rather than trying to score ‘political points’, and said there is ‘absolutely no way’ coal is coming back to Port Augusta, or SA.

Premier Weatherill and Prime Minister Turnbull were contacted but unavailable for comment.

Matt Carcich
Matt Carcich