Development Approval for solar thermal power station

MOVING FORWARD: SolarReserve Senior Vice President of Development Tom Georgis, Premier Jay Weatherill, Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis, Regional Development Minister Geoff Brock and SolarReserve CEO Kevin Smith at the site of the Aurora Solar Energy Project, 30 kilometres north of Port Augusta.
MOVING FORWARD: SolarReserve Senior Vice President of Development Tom Georgis, Premier Jay Weatherill, Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis, Regional Development Minister Geoff Brock and SolarReserve CEO Kevin Smith at the site of the Aurora Solar Energy Project, 30 kilometres north of Port Augusta.

SOLARRESERVE has gained Development Approval for the Aurora Solar Energy Project, putting the wheels in motion for the construction of the 150 megawatt solar thermal power station.

The approval gives SolarReserve the go-ahead to begin construction following examinations of the environmental, community and social impacts of the project.

SolarReserve CEO Kevin Smith said its a significant step in developing world-leading clean power generation technology in South Australia.

“The remarkable story of the transition of Port Augusta from coal to renewable energy – which won a competitive tender against fossil fuel – is also a preview of the future of power generation around the world,” Mr Smith said.

The approval activates a $650 million investment into the project, creating 650 construction jobs for over two years and 50 permanent jobs once operation begins.

Acting Energy Minister Chris Picton said the power plant will put downward pressure on power prices.

"It's fantastic that SolarReserve has received development approval to move forward with this world-leading project that will deliver clean, dispatchable renewable energy to supply our electrified rail, hospitals, schools and other major government buildings,” he said.

SolarReserve will now push to achieve financial close and select the project’s primary contractor, before commencing construction later this year. Port Augusta Mayor Sam Johnson said the approval ensures that Port Augusta continues on its quest to being the renewable capital of Australia.

“We are going to see a lot of construction jobs and a lot of money being spent, which is fantastic and it’s a credit to the community for standing up and advocating for it,” Mayor Johnson said.