On June 18, the Australian Government selected the “Solar Dawn” 250-megawatt solar-thermal/gas hybrid power plant as the preferred solar thermal power project in Round 1 of the Australian Government’s Solar Flagships Program. The project is proposed by a consortium, including AREVA Solar, CS Energy and Wind Prospect CWP. The Australian and Queensland Governments have announced their commitment to contribute AU$464 million and AU$75 million, respectively, to the project.
Once completed, Solar Dawn will be the largest standalone solar power plant in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the most environmentally responsible power production plants in the world.
As a solar thermal gas hybrid power plant, Solar Dawn will combine AREVA Solar’s Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector (CLFR) solar steam generators with a gas boiler back-up system, giving it the ability to deliver around the clock power. The Solar Dawn project also involves research collaboration with The University of Queensland to examine storage for solar thermal energy.
The proposed project will be located in South West Queensland, near the recently announced 44-megawatt Kogan Creek Solar Boost Project, also involving AREVA Solar and CS Energy. This solar boost project, supported by the Australian and Queensland Governments, will be the world’s largest solar integration with a coal-fired power station. The project began construction in the second quarter of 2011, with commercial operation planned for 2013.
Like Solar Dawn, Kogan Creek Solar Boost will also use AREVA Solar’s CLFR solar thermal technology. As the only CLFR technology to generate superheated steam, AREVA Solar’s solar steam generators are ideally suited for augmenting power at existing coal-fired and gas-fired combined cycle facilities.
Adding solar energy to the Kogan Creek Power Station will increase its output by up to 44 megawatts in peak solar conditions to the current 750 megawatts and will avoid the production of 35,600 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually.