Vast Solar will be co-developing the Aurora Energy Project (Aurora) through its acquisition of 50 per cent of the shares in Silicon Aurora Pty Ltd (Silicon Aurora) from 1414 Degrees (14D) for $2.5 million.
The agreement is the next step in Vast Solar’s plans to deploy its world leading technology in Port Augusta, following the Australian Government announced concessional finance of up to $110 million for Vast Solar to support the development of a 20MW CSP project in the area.
In addition to co-developing a 140MW (1-2 hour) battery energy storage system (BESS) with 14D, the agreement provides access and other rights for Vast Solar to progress its 20MW CSP project on the Aurora site.
Vast Solar’s CSP project will generate clean, low-cost, dispatchable power, and catalyse an export-focused renewables manufacturing industry creating hundreds of direct and indirect jobs.
Rapid investment in renewable dispatchable energy is an urgent priority and is the only sustainable solution to Australia’s energy crisis in the medium term.
The world-leading CSP facility will produce dispatchable renewable electricity “available on demand for eight hours or more” – a goal of the Australian Government’s Technology Investment Roadmap.
As one of the only renewable technologies that can generate clean energy overnight, the Roadmap and the Long Duration Energy Storage Council, formed at COP 26, identify CSP as a key technology to achieve net zero by 2050.
CSP is already deployed at scale overseas, and the International Energy Agency has forecast it will increase ten-fold to 73GW globally by 2030.
Vast Solar chief executive officer Craig Wood said: “Partnering with Australian storage technology company 14D to deliver the 140MW BESS project and our world-leading modular tower CSP technology in Port Augusta is a terrific development for Vast Solar.
“As per recent comments from the Federal Energy Minister and AEMO, dispatchable renewable energy capacity is what is required to curb the high prices currently being experienced in Australian energy markets.
“We are excited to be working with the Federal Government and ARENA to finalise funding for the project, and with State and Local Governments and other partners to expedite the Aurora project.”
The agreement also includes a commitment by the JV to progress the Aurora Energy Project’s plans for a 140 MW 1-2hr Battery Energy Storage System (BESS).