17.12.2010

Macquarie Generation is pleased to annouce the expansion of their solar thermal energy project at Liddell Power Station in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales.

Novatec Solar has been awarded the contract to build a new 9MWth solar field at Liddell, which will complement the existing plant, a world first integration of solar thermal technology with a traditional power station. Novatec Solar is majority owned by Transfield Holdings.

Construction of the 18,000 square metre solar field – the size of almost three football fields – is expected to commence in early 2011 and be completed in 2012.
“This project will approximately double the size of our existing solar array at Liddell Power Station, which will make it the largest solar thermal energy project in the Southern Hemisphere,” Macquarie Generation Chief Executive Mr Grant Every-Burns said.

“The new and existing plants combined will generate renewable energy for over 1000 average Australian homes every year, and is a further demonstration of Macquarie Generation’s commitment to exploring alternative energy opportunities.” Mr Every-Burns said. Solar field components will be manufactured locally and businesses from the Hunter Valley area will be involved in the construction phase of the project. Up to 35 local jobs will be generated during construction of the plant.

Novatec Solar CEO, Dennis Orwig, said yesterday: “We are seeing increasing demand in the USA, India, China and the Middle East for solar energy. Winning this public tender in Australia confirms the global competitiveness of Novatec’s innovative technology”.
Chairman of Novatec Solar and Joint Managing Director of Transfield Holdings, Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, said: “This project will demonstrate Novatec’s technology as a fuel saver for coal fired power stations. We believe this is a significant and growing global market”.
The project has received $9.25 million from the NSW Climate Change Fund Renewable Energy Development Program, established to support emerging renewable energy technologies.

During its anticipated 20-year operational life, the solar field will cut greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 5,000 tonnes per annum. This means greenhouse gas savings will cost in the order of $100 per tonne. Macquarie Generation originally tested the compact linear thermal reflection technology in 2004. The technology works by directing the sun’s heat through the mirror arrays to generate steam, which when piped into an existing power station, can be used to generate electricity or reduce the amount of fuel needed to operate the power station.

Novatec Solar’s proprietary solar field for the Liddell power station is the same as that proposed by the Transfield Consortium for the Australian Government's $1.5 billion Solar Flagships Program. The Transfield bid is one of four projects shortlisted under the solar thermal component of the program.

» 17.12.2010_press_release_liddell.pdf

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