Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced plans for a massive commercial-scale solar power for Australia’s Sunshine State. 44MW of supplementary solar power will be added on to a preexisting coal-fired Kogan Creek electricity generation plant in Dalby, south-west Queensland.
A visualisation of where the solar superheated steam generation section of the Kogan Creek plant will be located. The 44MW peak solar thermal generation will supplement the 750MW capacity of the main coal-fired plant.
The compact linear Fresnel reflector (or CLFR) technology for Kogan Creek Solar Boost Project is to be provided by the French firm AREVA Solar. CLFR uses long segmented sections of mirror to concentrate the sun’s energy onto one focal point, where water is heated, turned into steam, and used to spin turbines–much the same mechanism as coal-fired generation, but without any greenhouse gas emissions or other types of pollution. According to CS Energy, the project will be “the largest solar integration with a coal-fired power station in the world.”
Ongoing operation will be overseen by CS Energy, which has been operating the Kogan Creek Coal plant since 2007, when it was commissioned.
$34M of the funding for the addition will come from the Australian government’s Renewable Energy Demonstration Program, which has already provided partial funding for a number of other renewable energy projects.
About the project, PM Gillard said, “I am very confident this project is going to be a standout – a standout in Australia, a standout in the world – about how power generation can be changed to give us a cleaner-energy future,” adding “With the clean-energy future I want for our nation, I want it to be a norm.”
The Kogan Creek Solar Boost Project is separate from CS Energy’s Solar Flagship Project at the same site, the 600MW Solar Flair solar thermal project, which utilises Parabolic Solar Trough technology.
To see more about how the plant will operate, see the Kogan Creek Solar Boost Fact Sheet (pdf).
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