Australian concentrated solar power (CSP) technology firm Heliostat SA has teamed up with California-based SolarReserve to produce tracking mirrors for the latter’s 150-MW Aurora plant in South Australia.
The parties have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) under which they will work together on the development of plans and processes for the supply, fabrication and assembly of over 12,800 of SolarReserve’s SR96 heliostat assemblies in Australia. The move is seen to create around 200 local jobs, SolarReserve said on Monday.
“Heliostat SA plans to exploit our supply chain knowledge across the SR96 program, to ensure a very high local South Australian content is achieved,” said David Linder-Patton, Heliostat’s CEO. Heliostat and SolarReserve are now working to complete the final agreement, according to the announcement.
The Aurora CSP park near Port Augusta will incorporate 1,100 MWh of molten salt energy storage capacity. The CSP facility itself will have a capacity of about 135 MW when operating under normal conditions and will have the ability to increase that output in favourable conditions. It is expected to produce about 500 GWh of electricity annually, serving the state government’s needs and supplying all schools, hospitals, police stations and government buildings. An option to add a solar photovoltaic (PV) component to the scheme, to be used in peak demand periods, is also being developed.
The Aurora project is part of SolarReserve’s wider project to install six solar thermal power plants in South Australia in the next decade.
SolarReserve is a leading global developer, owner and operator of utility-scale solar power projects, with more than $1.8 billion of projects in operation worldwide. The company has commercialised its proprietary ThermaVault™ advanced solar thermal technology with integrated molten salt energy storage that delivers renewable power that is dispatchable 24-hours per day. The U.S. developed technology is now one of the world’s leading energy storage technologies and allows solar energy to operate like traditional fossil-fired and nuclear electricity generation – except the fuel is the sun which means zero emissions, zero hazardous waste, and zero dependence on fuel price volatility.
SolarReserve is also experienced in advanced heliostat and collector field design, deployment and controls. The company’s heliostat innovation areas include advancements in pointing accuracy, nimble structure design, high precision and efficient drive systems, ultra-light and high reflectivity mirror facets, and various heliostats and collector field control, power and communication systems.
Since the company’s formation in early 2008, SolarReserve’s experienced team has assembled a pipeline of over 13 gigawatts across the world’s most attractive, high growth renewable energy markets. SolarReserve is headquartered in the US and maintains a global presence with six international offices to support widespread project development activities across more than 20 countries. The company has been developing projects in Australia since 2013, with its Australian headquarters located in Adelaide, and field office located in Port Augusta.