Step Forward for Port Augusta! Solar Study Funded

Today it was announced that the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the SA Government are cofunding Alinta Energy to conduct a feasibility study into solar thermal in Port Augusta. You can read our response below, for comment please contact Alinta Energy's media release can be found here

 January 15, 2014

Community Welcomes Study But Concrete Government Project Funding Needed for Solar Thermal Solution

The Repower Port Augusta Alliance has welcomed the granting of federal and state government funding for Alinta Energy to conduct a feasibility study into solar thermal but argue that concrete state government funding commitments are needed for a project to get past the study phase.

“Our community welcomes this study but we need our state politicians to make it clear if they will make funding available for the critical next stage: actually building a solar thermal plant” Lisa Lumsden, chairperson of Repower Port Augusta said.

“This funding demonstrates just how serious and close the opportunity of solar thermal in Port Augusta is, but our politicians need to make sure we are ready to grasp it by committing funding to a project that will create jobs, clean air and be great for our state” Ms Lumsden said.

Repower Port Augusta has expressed concerns that the study is not solely focussed on stand alone solar thermal with storage with it also looking into hybridisation of coal and solar.

“A hybrid plant would not deal with our communities ongoing health concerns from the coal station” Ms Lumsden said, “a solar/coal hybrid is just putting an old polluting power station on life support. Alinta and the government need to ensure we are investing in a full solution for our community which means solar thermal with storage, a technology which is operating around the world”.

Repower Port Augusta is an alliance of local community groups, the Port Augusta City Council, local business, unions, health and environment organisations campaigning for solar thermal in Port Augusta.


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