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Collinsville power station converts to solar

The Australian Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) Emerging Renewables Program, will invest in a feasibility study that is investigating the conversion of Collinsville Power Station into a hybrid gas/solar thermal plant.

The Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP, yesterday announced the Australian Government will contribute $2.5 million towards a RATCH-Australia Corporation Limited initiated feasibility study.

The study, with a total cost of $5.6 million, will assess the viability of converting Queensland’s 180 MW coal-fired Collinsville Power Station to a 30 MW hybrid solar thermal/gas power station with the help of ARENA.

A key benefit of the project will be the production of knowledge that will help accelerate the deployment of concentrating solar thermal in Australia through hybrid projects.

“The results of the study will be made publically available in order to assist interested parties overcome the challenges of early deployment of concentrating solar thermal,” Minister Ferguson said.

“Such information will include the overall technical feasibility of converting thermal coal fired power stations to solar thermal plants, its costs, the solar yield, network connection and other issues.”

“RATCH is aiming to use, where possible, existing plant infrastructure, which would generate significant cost savings relative to the costs of constructing a new plant.

“The feasibility study will help other generators to assess the possibility of using solar thermal technologies at coal-fired plants.”

The University of Queensland will contribute to the feasibility study through a research program that investigates the potential early stage operation and any commissioning issues.

RATCH will examine the feasibility of using Novatec Solar’s Linear Fresnel Solar Thermal technology to generate steam to be used in a steam turbine at the Collinsville Power Station.

The Measure is due for completion in 2015.

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