SolarReserve looks to Oz miners as solar storage comes online

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US-based solar thermal developer opens an office in Perth as it targets Australia’s mining industry for its new solar storage technology.

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The US-based solar thermal energy developer SolarReserve has opened an office in Perth as it targets the mining industry for its new solar storage technology.

SolarReserve is soon to open the Crescent Dunes facility in Nevada, a ground-breaking, 110M project that will deliver electricity generated from solar towers, and stored in molten salts, to the Las Vegas grid operator between the hours of noon and midnight.

SolarReserve, as we canvassed earlier this year, is targeting the Australian mining industry, and is looking at a scaled down version of its technology that it says could shield mining operators from soaring diesel costs.

The company notes that energy is now one of the biggest financial costs for mines, and this is becoming an important issue as the boom in commodity prices ends. The interest from miners in new renewable technologies was reflected in our story on Monday, about the Australian Renewable Energy Agency reporting huge interest in its program of facilitating such developments.

SolarReserve CEO Kevin Smith said the best solar resources are often found in remote areas where mines operate. “In WA alone, there are more than 1,000 operating mines, many of which are powered by high-priced diesel fuel,” he said.

SolarReserve has hired Daniel Thompson to be its director of development in Australia, based in Perth. He has held management positions in WA utilities Verve Energy and Western Power.

Giles Parkinson is founder and editor of RenewEconomy.com.au, and is also the founder of OneStepOffTheGrid.com.au and founder/editor of www.TheDriven.io. Giles has been a journalist for 35 years and is a former business and deputy editor of the Australian Financial Review.

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2 Comments
  1. juxx0r 5 years ago

    I just don’t see it getting anywhere until the capex costs come down, not for solar thermal.

    I can understand a couple of wind turbines and some solar panels or some fast acting storage to eliminate spinning reserve as a cost offset, but i just can’t see a mine spending $150M on their power station.

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