SA Solar Thermal plant is a copy of US plant that was out of action for one third of its life so far

SA Solar Thermal plant is a copy of US plant that was out of action for one third of its life so far, by Joanne Nova.

A company called SolarReserve is planning to build the new Aurora 150MW solar thermal plant at Port Augusta, which is apparently a copy of their Crescent Dunes plant in the US. But that project has been offline for most of the time since last October. The whole SA government is meant to be running 24/7 off “solar power”, which allegedly only has about 8 hours of energy stored up (as heat in the molten salt block). …

Since the project only began working in Sept 2015 it managed to operate for all of one year and one month before it went offline for 8 months due to a leak. The SA State Energy Minister is not concerned saying it was a construction issue and SolarReserve “have learnt from that”.

The 150MW myth: most of the time it will be less, a lot less

Here’s an ominous number: Crescent Dunes has worked at an average capacity factor of only 16%. That would mean an average generation of just 24MW of power from the 150MW plant. Theoretically, they are aiming for a capacity factor of 51.9%. …

South Australia is run by PC ideologues.

Being anti-coal is a religious badge of honor. Here’s a line history will not be kind to:

Mr Weatherill said no form of coal-fired electricity generation, which includes new high-­efficiency, low-emission options, were considered during the tender process. “There’s going to be no more coal-fired generation,” he said. “Coal is dead

Weatherill knows coal is more expensive even though he didn’t consider it. All the other world leaders building 1600 coal plants in 62 countries must be kicking themselves.

As for $100MWh coal power — Weatherill could have paid $30m to keep the 520MW coal plant going.

Possibly people can come watch birds fry in the sky (130 roasted birds in a two hour test run):