1414 Degrees to rid SolarReserve of Aurora, plans 400 MW of PV plus storage

The concept for 1414 Degrees' solar-plus-storage project near Port Augusta. Source: 1414 Degrees Ltd

November 29 (Renewables Now) - Thermal energy storage system developer 1414 Degrees Ltd (ASX:14D) today unveiled plans to pick up a South Australia project dropped by California-based SolarReserve LLC in order to pilot its TESS-GRID technology.

The company has agreed to acquire SolarReserve Australia II Pty Ltd in a AUD-2-million (USD 1.4m/EUR 1.2m) transaction that will be funded by its existing cash resources. The firm being bought has a state government permit to develop a 150-MW concentrating solar power (CSP) plant and a 70-MW solar photovoltaic (PV) farm near Port Augusta, together known as the Aurora project. The US CSP specialist abandoned the scheme earlier this year after it became clear that it will not be able to secure funds for it in time.

SolarReserve Australia II also owns two solar sites in New South Wales.

The buyer said in a statement that it intends to refocus the Aurora project on building a 400-MW solar farm coupled with the installation of its TESS-GRID technology. The plan is to progressively scale up the storage capacity to several thousand MWh.

Executive chairman Kevin Moriarty stated that “[...] this large solar farm will generate significant revenues while supporting the staged development of our large-scale energy storage technology.”

The TESS-GRID will be developed to provide electricity firming services, while heat from the system will be available to supply Smartfarms, protected cropping greenhouses and industry. 1414 Degrees said it is looking into the possibility of producing hydrogen using the excess heat from its turbines.

The company will seek to obtain government and stakeholder approvals to vary or submit a new development application.

According to Moriarty, the Aurora site has a number of advantages for the development of 1414 Degrees’s technology.

“The unregulated high-voltage transmission line to the OZ Minerals Carrapateena and Prominent Hill mines is being constructed along the boundary of the Aurora Solar Energy Project, and provision has been made for a substation at the existing Aurora site with direct connection to the Davenport substation in Port Augusta,” he commented, adding that the company will reopen talks with OzMinerals and ElectraNet once the acquisition closes.

(AUD 1.0 = USD 0.678/EUR 0.616)

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