The Australian Government has announced eight projects that will be invited to participate in the second stage of assessment for Round One of the $1.5 billion Solar Flagships Program.
The Government intends to announce the two final successful applicants – one solar thermal and one solar photovoltaic – for Round One of the Solar Flagships Program in the first half of 2011.
The following shortlisted projects will share up to $15 million in feasibility funding going into the second stage of assessment:
• AGL Energy proposes a multi-site project using thin film cadmium telluride solar photovoltaic technology generating up to150MW at multiple sites across Australia including ACT, NSW, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia. AGL, FirstSolar and Bovis Lend Lease;
• TRUenergy proposes a single site near Mildura with CSIRO and Bovis Lend Lease, using thin film cadmium telluride solar photovoltaic technology to generate up to 180MW;
• Infigen Suntech’s crystalline silicon solar photovoltaic technology would be deployed at up to three sites in New South Wales or Victoria to generate up to 195MW; and
• BP Solar proposes a single axis tracking photovoltaic system to generate 150MW from plants constructed at several locations in New South Wales.
• ACCIONA Energy Oceania proposes to generate 200MW using solar thermal parabolic trough technology at a single site in either Queensland or South Australia. Acciona, Mitsubishi, BMD Constructions;
• Parsons Brinckerhoff proposes to construct a 150MW solar thermal parabolic trough power station at Kogan Creek in Queensland. Soalr Flair Alliance inc PB, Siemens, John Holland, CS Energy, Infrastructure Capital Group, QUT and Curtain University;
• Wind Prospect CWP proposes to use linear fresnel technology at Kogan Creek in Queensland to construct a 250MW power plant. Consortium consisting of Wind PRospect, CS Energy, Areva and Mistsui & Co.; and
• Transfield proposes to convert the Collinsville coal-fired power station in Queensland into a 150MW solar thermal linear fresnel power plant using Novatec technology.
Government funding for feasibility studies will enable these companies to develop robust project proposals for final assessment and project selection by the Solar Flagships Council.
Stage Two of the application process will involve more detailed work by each of the applicants for their shortlisted projects.
This will include final selection of sites; community consultation and site approvals; evaluation of solar radiation data; network connections; and finalisation of financial information – including 2 electricity offtake agreements; engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts; and project financing.
The State and Territory governments will have an important role to play in finalising these elements.
Although the projects propose different technologies, they are each capable of providing the foundation for large-scale, grid-connected, solar power to play a significant role in Australia’s electricity supply and operate within a competitive electricity market.
Fifty-two proposals were received under Round One of the Solar Flagships Program.
Of these 52 proposals, eight projects were recommended by the independent Solar Flagships Council, after a rigorous assessment against the Solar Flagships Eligibility and Merit Criteria. Proponents who were not successful in Round One will be encouraged to submit eligible proposals in Round Two of the program.
The Solar Flagships Council has also made recommendations relating to the siting of photovoltaic projects. The Government will review these recommendations, including whether to allow shortlisted photovoltaic projects to be located on multiple grids, for example, both the National Electricity Market and South West Inter-connected System in Western Australia.
The solar thermal mandate was a fascinating battle between two technologies struggling for ascendancy: the “parabolic trough” proponents such as Germany’s Solar Millennium (teamed up with Leighton’s JB Holland), Siemens, and Spain’s Acciona; and the solar tower group headed by US companies eSolar and BrightSource (teamed up with Bilfinger/Abigroup, Worley-Parsons and Macquarie), and Spain’s Abengoa.
EPi has superior knowledge and experience in the development of solar projects within Australia. We have been involved with numerous large PV and solar thermal projects. Including site identification, site studies, plant sizing, configurations, estimating, business models and integration with other equipment like CCGTs. Visit the website www.elementalpower.com.au for more information on our services.