Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced the development of a hybrid coal and solar power station. The announcement states that the development will be one of the biggest solar thermal projects in the world, and the largest integration of solar technology and coal-fired power in the world.
Solar reflectors will boost the coal-fired power generation of the existing plant in Queensland. Solar energy will be used to create extra steam for the coal-fired station’s electricity producing turbine.
The plan is to install 44 megawatts of solar power at the Kogan Creek Power Station. The aim is to have the project completed by 2013. It will be built and operated by Areva Solar, a subsidiary of French company Areva. Areva also acquired an Australian company called Ausra in 2010, so the solar lenses will most probably be made by them.
The project is slated to cost $104.7 million and has the support of the government to the tune of $34.9 million. CS Energy will invest $70 million.
The government has estimated that the plant will save 35,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases per year from polluting the atmosphere. The project is estimated to create up to 120 jobs when building begins.