The project hopes to provide 5% of South Australia's energy needs.
A new major renewable energy project, headed up by Solar Reserve, is expected to generate power for 90,000 homes across South Australia. The ‘Aurora Solar Energy Project,’ located 30km north of Port Augusta, will harness solar energy and store it using molten salt thermal storage. This important initiative in the history of Australia will require no fossil fuels and produce zero carbon emissions.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration explains, “Solar thermal power generation systems collect and concentrate sunlight to produce the high-temperature heat needed to generate electricity. All solar thermal power systems have solar energy collectors with two main components: reflectors (mirrors) that capture and focus sunlight onto a receiver.”
Not only will the energy farm promote sustainability, it is also projected to create 650 full-time jobs during the 30-month construction period. Additionally, the initiative could support a new industry in S. Australia because 60% of equipment will be purchased and assembled locally. Solar Reserve is currently opening permanent offices in Adelaide, presenting 50 full-time positions. Scientists and project managers at Solar Reserve plan to work with local universities and schools to further research and educate on solar thermal energy.
Solar Reserve is currently opening permanent offices in Adelaide, presenting 50 full-time positions. Scientists and project managers at Solar Reserve plan to work with local universities and schools to further research and educate on solar thermal energy.
The project expects to offset 200,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually, helping support federal and state renewable energy targets. Australia has fallen behind on their carbon dioxide reduction goals made in 2008. Australia’s climate administration proposed to abate 1.3 billion tonnes per year— however, the reality fell to 236 million tonnes.
The dry cooling system provided by solar thermal energy also helps reduce water usage, up to millions of liters every year for projects of this magnitude. SolarReserve’s next major project involves a two tower farm built in the vast northern plains of Chile.
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