Minister on concentrating solar thermal fact-finding tour

South Australia’s Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, Tom Koutsantonis, will travel to Nevada to research the viability of concentrated solar thermal energy.

The Minister met solar thermal lobbyists and local government representatives in Port Augusta yesterday.

He was given documentation showing the community’s support for the local power stations to be converted to the concentrating solar power source.

Mr Koutsantonis says the trip to the United States is to explore and clarify details of solar thermal energy.

“We understand gas power generation, we understand coal power generation, we understand wind – in terms of renewable energy we’re basically the epicentre of Australia,” he said.

“If South Australia was a country in its own right we would be number two in the world for renewable energy.”

Mr Koutsantonis says he is willing to lobby the Federal Government and Alinta Energy to invest in solar thermal.

Port Augusta Mayor Joy Baluch says she is pleased the State Government is supporting a conversion to solar thermal energy for local power stations and is learning more about how the technology works.

“Our conversation has been extremely encouraging to the fact that the Minister is going to Nevada personally to check out the existing and operating solar thermal plant,” she said.