South Australia planning to build the world’s largest thermal solar plant

South Australia together with Tesla just built the world’s largest battery. Following this success, they are now aiming to build the world’s biggest thermal solar plant.

The $650 million and a 150-megawatt solar thermal project has received state development approval.

Construction of this giant thermal solar plant will begin this year.

South Australian acting energy minister Chris Picton called the project a welcome development for the state.

“South Australia is fast becoming a global center for the development of renewable energy with storage. It’s fantastic that the project has received development approval to move forward with this world-leading project that will deliver clean energy to supply,” Mr. Picton said.

“The price that the government will pay for power is remarkably low, considering solar thermal is a very young technology in Australia,” The Clean Energy Council executive general manager Natalie Collard told Fairfax Media.

“The state has taken a series of positive steps towards greater energy independence which are really starting to pay off. And it has already met its target of 50 percent renewable energy almost a decade early,” she added.

The planned thermal solar plant will be able to generate 500-gigawatt hours of energy annually, providing power to around 90,000 homes, with eight hours of full load storage.

Once constructed, the facility will be the world’s largest single-tower solar thermal power plant.

It works by using multiple heliostats – which are in essence turning mirrors – to focus solar energy onto a single central tower.

The plant will displace the equivalent of 200,000 tonnes of CO2 annually.

This new biggest solar thermal plant will be located 30 kilometers north of Port Augusta, in South Australia.