Vast Solar is developing VS1, a 30 MW Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) plant located in Port Augusta, South Australia. The CSP plant gathers solar energy during the day, stores it as heat in the molten salt tanks, then when required, uses the stored heat to make steam to drive a turbine to generate electricity.
VS1 will use Vast Solar’s world-leading modular tower CSP technology to generate clean, low-cost, dispatchable power available on demand, catalysing an export-focused renewables manufacturing industry and creating employment and contracting opportunities during the two-year project build and 30 years of operations and maintenance.
Port Augusta has long been recognised by Vast Solar and others as an ideal location for CSP thanks to its quality solar resource, strong electrical grid, local industrial use-cases, and sizeable and growing support for CSP from the community. Located 20 km north of Port Augusta along the Stuart Highway, VS1 will be within the Aurora Energy Project precinct.
VS1 will comprise:
- Eight of Vast Solar’s modular solar arrays, each comprising heliostats, receiver and control system
- An insulated interconnecting pipe header, creating the pathway for collected heat to flow from the receivers to the central power block
- A central power block, consisting of:
· molten salt thermal storage tanks (288 MWh capacity)
· steam generation system
· 30 MW steam turbine
- Balance of plant equipment, including water and waste water treatment
- An operations building and maintenance warehouse
- For energy customers – cheaper energy, low risk power generation, long term certainty on energy prices and elimination of 85% greenhouse gas emissions.
- For the Port Augusta region – hundreds of direct and indirect jobs leading to growth of the Upper Spencer Gulf and Far North.
Project Developer – Vast Solar
Australian company Vast Solar has developed world leading modular tower CSP technology that delivers less risky, less complex, cheaper and more efficient dispatchable renewable electricity generation.
The core differentiator of Vast Solar’s technology vs. other CSP offerings is its use of liquid sodium as the heat transfer fluid to collect solar energy, unlocking the economic and performance advantages of modular solar arrays. The technology has been refined, tested and proven in three successively larger projects, the latest of which is a world-first 1.1 MW grid-connected pilot plant, located near Forbes in NSW that was successfully and safely operated from 2018 to 2020.
A joint venture with 1414 Degrees will also see Vast Solar co-develop a 140 MW battery energy storage system (BESS) on the Aurora site.
Further information and updates on the project is available at Vast Solar Projects .
See the project here.