US company SolarReserve is currently the world leader in large scale solar tower and molten salt storage plants, and is still hopeful of having the opportunity of building the first in Australia.

Australian-based development officer Daniel Thompson will be speaking at next week’s Large Scale Solar conference co-hosted by RenewEconomy and Informa.

Two of the images he will be sharing are featured here.


The first is the so-called “duck-curve” being experienced in California, and predicted for the next few years, as more solar is integrated into the grid, part of the state’s 50 per cent “new renewables” target for 2030.

The graph shows the hollowing out of demand during the day, something that has also been predicted in South Australia, Western Australia and even Tasmania, as a result of the growing push for rooftop solar by homes and businesses.

This, of course, lifts the case for storage. While there has been a lot of focus on battery storage and pumped hydro in recent weeks, they are not the only options.

SolarReserve is proposing to build a 110MW solar tower and storage plant in Port Augusta, and has lodged an application with the South Australian government tender.

It has said that if solar towers get a foothold in the Australian market, there might be a case for up to six such facilities in South Australia alone.

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In the US, it is going even further – unveiling plans for a huge 1.5GW to 2GW solar tower and storage plant for California, that would include at least 10 such arrays. This is what it may look like if the Sandstone project in Nevada ever goes ahead.

Daniel Thompson will be speaking at the Large Scale solar conference in Sydney on Monday. Further details can be found here.