Stanwell joins $600m solar thermal plan for Mount Isa

Out-Law News | 29 Mar 2021 | 1:17 am |

Australia’s Queensland government-owned energy generator Stanwell will provide financial support to Vast Solar’s 50 megawatt hybrid solar thermal project to be developed in Mount Isa, Queensland at a cost of $600 million.

Stanwell will provide $5m for a feasibility study that will examine logistical details, planning requirements, customer offtake, and financing. Vast Solar is also contributing $5m. 

The study is expected to be completed this year and the project to be approved in 2022. Construction work will start from 2022, if approved. It is expected to be fully operational by 2024.

Vast Solar announced its plan for the North West Queensland Hybrid Power Plant in 2020. The project will integrate solar PV, battery storage and gas engines with the company’s own concentrated solar thermal power (CSP) technology, using mirrors and receiving towers to collect and store solar energy.

Once operational the plant will deliver 85% renewable energy and significantly reduce energy rates for the resource sector by connecting Mount Isa to the national electricity grid.

Eliza Danby of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said: “It is great to see new solar technology continually being developed, and with financial support from government.”

The plant is expected to have a 30-year operational life. Vast Solar is an Australian developer of concentrating solar thermal power technology.