The Solar Dawn Consortium continues to advance the development and commercial closure of its proposed 250 megawatt solar thermal power plant after being granted a time extension by the Commonwealth Government.
Project Director Anthony Wiseman said the Consortium, which includes AREVA Solar and Wind Prospect CWP, welcomed the extension as a confirmation of the progress being made on the proposed solar thermal plant.
“Like all major infrastructure projects, finalising the design, approvals, financial and commercial aspects takes time, and we appreciate the continued support of the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments,” Mr Wiseman said.
“Recently we signed a conditional agreement with the Queensland Government for $75 million in project assistance and received Development Approval from Western Downs Regional Council for the construction of the solar thermal plant.
“Finalising this work took considerable time and discussion, and demonstrates the progress being made by the Solar Dawn Consortium and the continued commitment of all parties involved.
“We don’t expect the time extension to impact our project’s longer-term goals. What’s important is that Australia has a commercially operational, large-scale solar thermal power plant by December 2015.”
Late last year, the Consortium also announced the decision to defer installation of gas infrastructure, and to initially operate the facility as a standalone solar thermal power plant. Further it was confirmed that CS Energy will no longer participate as the operations and maintenance contractor.
“Contrary to recent media reports, CS Energy’s departure in no way impacts the project’s commercial viability. Reports which state CS Energy was to also provide the PPA for the project are inaccurate,” Mr Wiseman said.
“Necessary refinements and adjustments are being made as the Consortium works to ensure the project is in the best shape possible to achieve financial close.
“We are doing what we need to do to ensure the Project’s long-term commercial success, whilst providing Australia with the foundations for a large-scale solar thermal industry.”
Please see copy of statement released by the Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP earlier today.