State Government sets up contest between solar thermal and gas with power tender rules

State Government sets up contest between solar thermal and gas with power tender rules


The South Australian Government will be faced with a choice of supporting large scale concentrated solar thermal with storage or polluting gas according to Repower Port Augusta, following the release of tender documents for the State Government’s power use on Monday afternoon.


“The South Australian Government has a clear choice in this tender, use their purchasing power to create a new clean industry and new jobs with 24 hour solar thermal or prop up an old polluting industry with gas” Lisa Lumsden, spokesperson for Repower Port Augusta said.


Repower Port Augusta is concerned the State Government has chosen to raise the pollution cap from its low carbon energy expression of interest announced in November 2015. Previously the Government had put an emission cap of 400kg CO-e/MWh, which has been raised to 700.


“These tender documents lay out the rules companies need to play by to supply our State Government with energy. It’s disappointing that the State Government has decided to let more polluting gas generation onto the field by raising the pollution limit by almost double since November last year” Ms Lumsden said.


“Since Jay Weatherill first put forward the idea of using the State Government’s power purchase to drive new investment in clean generation last year, our community has lost jobs with the closure of the old coal station. We want to see Jay Weatherill to invest in our future by using this tender to create new jobs and new industry for Port Augusta by backing on-demand solar thermal power” Ms Lumsden said.


The State Government’s tender offers two multi-year contracts, one for carbon neutral Adelaide targeting 25% of the government’s power use and the other 75% aimed at bringing new competition into SA’s energy mix.


“Offering a long term power contract is the State Government’s strongest lever to drive new investment in clean power and the next generation of renewables” Ms Lumsden said.


“It’s critical the State Government takes this opportunity to finally make solar thermal happen, not lock in a risky long-term contract with a polluting gas company tied to the fluctuating and expensive gas market” Ms Lumsden said.


“Building solar thermal in Port Augusta would create manufacturing opportunities, provide the network benefits of fossil fuels without the pollution as well as new long-term jobs and solar power on demand. Solar thermal is the right choice for our state, not old polluting gas” Ms Lumsden said.


For media inquiries: Dan Spencer 0423 865 632

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