Former coal worker wants Prime Minister to invest in Solar Power
ACTION: Former Northern Power Station and Repower Port Augusta Chairperson Gary Rowbottom, outside the former Northern Power Station. PHOTO: Matt Peterson.
Repower Port Augusta have called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to deliver greater support for a 24-hour solar thermal plant with storage in Port Augusta that would create new jobs and on-demand clean power.
“We need our Prime Minister to deliver his promise to make solar thermal a priority to our community.”
Repower Port Augusta said the Prime Minister should write to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and Clean Energy Finance Corporation, asking them to put together funding for a large scale solar thermal plant with storage in Port Augusta.
It follows the federal government announcing $20 million in support for flexible capacity and large-scale energy storage demonstration projects. Mr Rowbottom said this is a good thing, but a ‘small step’ for SA, calling on funding dedicated to a solar thermal plant in Port Augusta.
In a February 1 National Press Club speech, Mr Turnbull supported the idea of ‘clean-coal’ fired power stations, and floated the idea of funding it through renewable energy funding.
“We will need more synchronous baseload power and, as the world’s largest coal exporter, we have a vested interest in showing that we can provide both lower emissions and reliable baseload power with state-of-the-art clean-coal-fired technology,” Mr Turnbull said.
The SA government has put out tenders for the procurement of 75 per cent of the government electricity load to incentivise the entry of new power generation into the local market in order to increase competition.
Mr Rowbottom said this is the ‘perfect opportunity’ for Mr Turnbull to make solar thermal in Port Augusta happen.
Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey defended the federal government’s $20 million announcement, arguing it will ‘add to the attraction of investing in storage capacity’. “With South Australia’s vulnerable and unreliable power issues, investment in storage is vital to eliminate the issues we have seen, particularly the events of last September,” he said.
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