Vast Solar to build 30 MW/288 MWh CSP plant in Australia

As it moves closer to building a 30 MW/288 MWh thermal concentrated solar power (CSP) facility with more than eight hours of energy storage capacity near Port Augusta, South Australia, renewable energy company Vast Solar has inked a significant engineering contract.

In order to finish the front-end engineering design (FEED) of the 30 MW/288 MWh VS1 CSP project that Vast Solar intends to build north of Port Augusta, South Australia, the company claimed that it has executed engineering contracts.

To advance plans for the VS1 project, which will make use of the Sydney-based developer’s modular tower CSP technology, Vast Solar announced that it has appointed QLD engineering and survey firm FYFE, Western Australian-based EPC specialist Primero, Swedish engineering outfit Afry, and American-Australian engineering company Worley.

“This is a major step forward for Vast and VS1, putting this historic CSP project on the path to construction,” Vast Chief Executive Craig Wood said.

“Afry, FYFE, Primero and Worley will bring the right combination of global and local expertise to VS1, which will utilize our industry-leading technology to capture and store the sun’s energy during the day before generating heat and dispatchable power during the day or night.”

Construction on the VSI project is scheduled to start later in 2024, with front-end engineering and design likely to be finished in August 2024, ahead of a final investment decision in the third quarter of the same year.

According to Wood, the project is expected to generate hundreds of employment during construction and long-term positions in plant operation, in addition to dozens of jobs in green manufacturing.

The VS1 power plant is a component of the broader Aurora Energy Project, which also includes a grid-scale trial of the SiBox thermal energy storage technology from Adelaide-based energy storage expert 1414 Degrees.

In addition, the two businesses intend to construct a 140 MW/280 MWh battery energy storage system at the location. This system will be built alongside a solar methanol manufacturing plant, which would use heat and electricity produced by the VS1 project to power a 10 MW electrolyzer.

The engineering contracts have been disclosed, after the statement last week by Vast and 1414 that they had begun negotiating access to transmission lines in order to link the planned solar thermal and battery facilities to the grid.

In an attempt to obtain access to the transmission line that supplies the Prominent Hill and Carrapateena mines, Vast and 1414 announced that they have signed a term sheet with OZ Minerals Services, a division of the massive mining company BHP.

Oz Minerals is the only customer of the 275 kV Hill-to-Hill Transmission Line, which is owned by network operator ElectraNet and needs to be included in any agreements.

According to Vast Solar, a separate technical assessment of the suggested connection will soon be initiated.

“We are looking forward to continuing discussions with BHP to agree commercial and technical terms so we can progress the precinct,” said Wood.

Source Vast

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