1414 Degrees aims to revive Aurora solar project

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Wednesday, 04 December, 2019

1414 Degrees aims to revive Aurora solar project

Australian thermal energy storage company 1414 Degrees has arranged to buy the site of the failed Aurora Solar Energy Project in Port Augusta.

The Aurora Solar Energy Project has South Australian Government approval to deploy a 70 MW solar farm with 150 MW of generation from a concentrated solar thermal plant.

But the project was scrapped in April after US-based SolarReserve failed to secure commercial funding. Now 1414 Degrees plans to acquire the holding company for the project, SolarReserve Australia II.

1414 Degrees plans to use the site to pilot its TESS-GRID technology, which is designed to store electrical energy at very high current flows and supply electricity and heat for long periods.

1414 Degrees plans to seek approval to vary or resubmit an application for approval to provide up to 400 MW of solar generation along with the installation of TESS-GRID technology. The company plans to progressively scale up this storage capacity to the range of several thousand MWh.

The proposed TESS-GRID could also be used to buy and store electricity generated by other renewable farms on the region’s high-voltage transmission network.

1414 Degrees is also investigating using the excess heat from its turbines to produce hydrogen.

“We will be using South Australian technology to create a large-scale, thermal energy storage plant near Port Augusta able to supply reliable power on demand to the national grid,” 1414 Degrees Executive Chairman Dr Kevin Moriarty said.

He said the Augusta site has a number of clear advantages that make it an ideal site for the development of the proposed TESS-GRID solution.

“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 said.

“Davenport is part of the major transmission networks to Eyre Peninsula, Adelaide and the new interconnector to New South Wales. This project is currently not impacted by marginal loss factors (MLF) that have constrained output from renewable farms in remoter parts of the national grid.”

1414 Degrees will control and manage the project, which will be developed and financed through the subsidiary company.

1414 Degrees started developing the technology a decade ago in partnership with the University of Adelaide and local engineering consultancy ammjohn. The company listed on the ASX last year through a $16.3 million IPO.

SolarReserve Australia II also owns two solar sites in NSW.

Image credit: © stock.adobe.com/au/Ingo Bartussek

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