ONE YEAR on from the Northern Power Station closure, Repower Port Augusta has urged the state government to commit to a solar thermal plant with storage in Port Augusta.
Federal government confirmed it would provide equity funding of up to $110 million for the project in its 2017 Budget on Tuesday May 9 – exactly one year on from when the Port Augusta Power Station officially stopped generating power.
The Budget stated that the investment was designed to ‘diversify energy generation and storage technologies’ and ‘create new employment opportunities’.
Repower Chairperson Gary Rowbottom said federal government’s commitment is great news for locals and all South Australians.
“With a $110 million equity investment in solar thermal committed by the Turnbull Government, all that is needed to make this happen is for the South Australian government to commit to purchasing power from solar thermal,” Mr Rowbottom said.
“Building solar thermal will create up to 1000 construction jobs and 50 ongoing jobs with similar skills to operating the old coal-fired power station. Our community wants this to happen and now it’s up to the state government to lock this in.”
The confirmation of funding comes after SA Senator Nick Xenophon announced a $110 million low-interest loan from the federal government for a solar thermal plant in Port Augusta on April 1.
Hundreds of people helped Repower rally at the steps of Parliament House on April 30, calling on Premier Jay Weatherill to back solar thermal with storage in Port Augusta.
State government’s electricity supply tender closed in January, with the award to be announced in June.