In our article a few months ago, "Solar Power And Coal – An Unholy Alliance?", we reported on moves overseas to help make coal fired power generation more efficient using solar power.
In news from Queensland Premier Anna Bligh’s office just released, the State Government and an international energy company are endeavouring to establish one of these hybrid projects near Chinchilla in Queensland’s Darling Downs.
“The project involves installing a solar thermal addition to power Kogan Creek’s feedwater system to increase the station’s overall efficiency and generate more than 23 MW of electricity per year." said the Premier.
“That’s enough electricity to power 25,000 homes every year and will make a real difference to carbon emissions and ultimately should make electricity production cheaper."
Greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation in Queensland have more than doubled since 1990.
The State Government had already signed a memorandum of understanding earlier this year and has now applied to the Australian Government to partially fund the project, which is expected to cost around $200 million.
If the project should go ahead, Ausra will use its proprietary solar collector and steam generation system for the Kogan plant – and it would be the largest demonstration of the technology in the world.
Climate Change Minister Kate Jones said Queensland needed projects like the solar boost proposal if the State is to successfully transition to a low-carbon future.
Ms Jones says that the state has also moved to ensure that any new coal fired power stations being built in Queensland use only the world’s best practice low emission technology and will also need to be "CCS ready".
To date, no large-scale CCS projects have been produced and according to a recent ABC 4 Corners report, carbon capture and storage is not commercially viable and probably will not be for 20 years.
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