The Aurora Solar Energy Project located near Port Augusta is a 150 megawatt solar thermal power station incorporating 8 hours of storage (1100 megawatts-hours). Under normal operating conditions the plant will have a capacity of about 135 megawatts, with the ability to increase that output in favourable conditions, such as in the evening. Aurora will deliver over 500 gigawatt-hours of energy annually – providing fully dispatchable baseload electricity to the network when electricity is needed most. Storage will enable the solar thermal station to operate just like a conventional coal or gas power station, reliably generating electricity day and night – except without any emissions. The project is to be located approximately 30kms north of the town on a vast pastoral station.

The Aurora project would also create much needed jobs for South Australia. The project is expected to create up to 4,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs during construction, with a large portion in South Australia, and around 50 long-term jobs during the operations phase. 60% South Australian content is targeted for the construction phase which would support an entirely new industry for South Australia. The solar thermal supply chain which would be developed in the state would be leveraged for other solar thermal power station projects in South Australia and the broader region.

Molten Salt Thermal Storage