Power station project wins State funding
A combined geothermal/solar energy power station for South Australia is a step closer to reality thanks to new funding from the State Government.
The project is being pioneered by Professor Gus Nathan, Director of the Centre for Energy Technology (CET) at the University of Adelaide, and by Heliotherm, a 100% owned subsidiary company of South Australian geothermal energy developer Petratherm Ltd.
The power station project will receive an extra $700,000 from the State Government's Renewable Energy Fund. This is in addition to almost $800,000 already committed to the project from the Premier's Science and Research Fund.
In announcing new funding for renewable energy initiatives, South Australian Premier the Hon. Mike Rann said the geothermal/solar electricity generation project sought to "use the benefits of each energy source in a unique configuration designed to provide clean, reliable and cost-competitive power".
"These latest projects are further practical examples of the Government's commitment to build the State's burgeoning reputation as a leader in renewable energy," Mr Rann said.
"South Australia can be an international test bed for renewable energy innovation and policies."
The overall cost of building the power station is $9.3 million over three years. Petratherm plans to commit $3 million to the project, with the balance to be the subject of further funding applications to the Commonwealth.
"The project involves the CET team designing and developing an integrated solar, geothermal and combustion system to achieve high efficiency base load power generation," Professor Nathan said.
"The key innovation is using an integrated boiler that exploits all of the energy sources in a way to reduce capital costs and achieve a critical breakthrough in cost and efficiency in solar thermal technology.
"This integrated solar/geothermal/combustion technology, when developed, is expected to have considerable local, national and international market potential."
Story by David Ellis