SolarReserve is to sell its 150 MW Aurora CSP project near Port Augusta in South Australia after failing to secure financing for the project, the government of South Australia said in a statement April 5.

The AU$650-million ($465-million) Aurora project was based on SolarReserve’s CSP tower technology and include eight hours of molten salt storage.

In 2017, South Australia awarded U.S. developer SolarReserve a 20-year power offtake agreement for the project at a maximum price of AU$78/MWh. Last year, SolarReserve signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Australian firm Heliostat SA for the supply and assembly of heliostats.

“Yesterday, I received a response which confirmed how SolarReserve proposes to sell the project to a third party who may take the project or an alternative project forward at the site,” Dan van Holst Pellekaan MP, said April 5.

“The State Government will immediately begin the process of returning to market to secure its future electricity needs,” Van Holst Pellekaan said.

Any purchaser of the project would be able to tender for a new contract, the MP said.

The Aurora project aimed to address South Australia’s peak demand challenges with carbon-free generation. In the summer, power prices surge across peak demand periods in the late afternoon and evening hours.

The project was being developed with the option to add PV technology to provide power during the day and maximize CSP electricity generation during evening peak demand periods.

The South Australia government had already extended the financing deadline for the project and worked hard to provide assistance to the project, identifying engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) groups and introducing the developer to potential investors, Van Holst Pellekaan said.

Israel’s Megalim CSP plant starts commercial operations

The 121 MW Megalim CSP tower plant in Israel has started commercial operations, project partners BrightSource, GE Renewable Energy and Noy Fund, announced on April 10.

The Megalim plant is located in Israel’s Negev desert and features a 250-metre tower. GE was responsible for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and BrightSource supplied the solar field technology.

The solar receiver steam generator weighs 2,200 metric tons and was lifted on top of the 250 m tower in 2017 in a first of a kind procedure which took around two weeks.

The Israeli government awarded the project back in 2012 and forms part of Israel’s goal to source 10% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2020.

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SolarReserve ditches 2-GW CSP project in Nevada

SolarReserve LLC has dropped plans for the construction of what was expected to be the world’s largest concentrating solar power (CSP) complex, Bloomberg reports.

Citing information from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the agency said that the solar thermal power specialist has withdrawn its federal permit application for the up to 2-GW Sandstone project, which was to be developed on public land in the Nevada desert. The reasons for the deicision have not been announced. According to BLM spokesman Derrick Henry, the application has been withdrawn at the end of January.

The Sandstone project, an investment of about USD 5 billion (EUR 4.4bn), was planned to include up to 10 solar thermal towers, each with a capacity of 150 MW-200 MW. When announcing plans for the scheme back in 2016, SolarReseve said it would use molten salt for energy storage at each site. The complex was expected to generate 7 million MWh of electricity annually and have 20,000 MWh of storage capacity.

Earlier this month, SolarReserve said it has failed to secure in time funds for its 150-MW Aurora CSP project near Port Augusta, South Australia. It now plans to sell it to a third party.