The Australian Government is supporting tech company RayGen to construct an innovative ‘solar hydro’ power plant in Mildura, Victoria. The government, through ARENA, is providing $15 million towards the $30 million project.
The facility will supply dispatchable power where it’s critically needed in the west Murray region of the National Electricity Market (NEM). It will provide renewable energy to around 380 homes per year.
RayGen’s solar-plus-storage technology can store power from both its own solar generation and the grid. The tech will capture heat from the concentrated solar PV in water-based pits the size of nine Olympic-size swimming pools. This stored energy will help back up the solar farm when the sun isn’t shining.
Capabilities emerging from the project will have applications across the wider energy and water resources industries.
The Hon Angus Taylor MP, Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, said the pilot plant will provide a stable form of solar power to the grid. ‘RayGen aims to scale up to a 100MW project capable of providing secure, dispatchable power to help support grid stability in Victoria and reduce emissions,’ the Minister said.
Longer duration energy storage is a key priority under the government’s Technology Investment Roadmap.
Photo courtesy of ARENA.