Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Work starts on Whyalla solar project

ABC News Online, 12 August 2009

The foundations are being laid for a $15 million solar plant at Whyalla.

A demonstration plant of four big dishes will combine solar power with ammonia energy storage technology.

Whyalla's deputy mayor Eddie Hughes says it is great to see something tangible after nearly 13 years of planning.

"The first pad is to form a working base for the construction of the dishes," he said.

Mr Hughes says the 500-square-metre dishes will be the largest in the world.

"They're going to be quite spectacular, I think they will attract a lot of attention," he said.

"These are the largest solar dishes in the world, capable of generating temperatures in excess of 2,000 degrees."

He denies the plant will create another industrial eyesore for Whyalla.

"Oh, I think they're going to be exceptionally beautiful to look at," he said.

Mr Hughes says, if the demonstration plant can successfully provide base load power, a 600-dish plant will be considered, at a likely cost of $350 million.

It would be able to provide power to 19,000 homes.

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