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$650M utilities project revival starts after new ownership

1414 Degrees
1414 Degrees

A thermal energy storage company has bought a failed $650 million utilities development and plans to bring it back to life.

1414 Degrees recently agreed to pay $2M to acquire SolarReserve’s Aurora Solar Energy Project, 30km northwest of Port Augusta in South Australia.

The proponent now plans to build a new Thermal Energy Storage System (TESS-GRID), which is initially capable of generating up to 400 megawatts of solar photovoltaic (PV) power and will eventually be ramped up to several thousand megawatts (MW) per hour through turbines and a variety of frequency control ancillary services.

Gas or electricity will be stored as latent heat in silicon, which becomes a liquid when heated to 1414 degrees Celsius. Energy from the latent heat will then be reclaimed and distributed as electricity and/or heat when required.

Approved for construction

The original project already has State Government development approval for a 70MW Solar PV Farm and 150MW Concentrated Solar Thermal Plant. The development was cancelled after the previous owner failed to obtain commercial funding for the project.

The deal includes the Aurora project and two solar sites in New South Wales. Electricity firming services will shortly be developed to a similar scale project as Aurora according to The Lead.

The proponent promises it will use local suppliers for the project.

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“We will be using South Australian technology to create a large-scale, thermal energy storage plant near Port Augusta able to supply reliable power on demand to the national grid,” 1414 Degrees executive chairman Kevin Moriarty said.

The sale is still in progress and none of the construction jobs have been advertised yet.

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