SolarReserve, a developer of large-scale solar power projects and solar thermal technology, announced it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Heliostat SA, a South Australian company focused on the manufacture and assembly of heliostats and heliostat components.
Under the MOU, Heliostat SA and SolarReserve will partner in the development of plans and processes for the supply, fabrication and assembly of more than 12,800 of SolarReserve’s SR96 heliostat assemblies for the Aurora Solar Energy Project near Port Augusta, South Australia.
Heliostats are the large tracking mirrors in a solar thermal power station, which follow the sun throughout the day and precisely reflect and concentrate sunlight onto a receiver. See the video for an explanation of how it works.
The SR96 heliostat will be integrated with SolarReserve’s molten salt receiver and controls system. Each of the assemblies includes 96 square meters of glass, plus steel supports and electric drives, resulting in a field of mirrors with more than a million square meters of surface area.
Close to 200 jobs could be created in South Australia as a result of a deal between Heliostat SA and SolarReserve for the Aurora project, including over 115 skilled labor positions related to manufacturing of steel components and heliostat assemblies. The two companies are working together to complete the final agreement, which includes achieving as much local content and labor as possible. The balance of construction of SolarReserve’s Aurora project in Port August is anticipated to create an additional 650 full-time construction jobs on site, and more than 4,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs in the region.
The Aurora project is being developed with the option to add solar photovoltaic (PV) technology in order to maximize electricity generation from the CSP facility during peak demand periods, as well as meet the station’s own electricity needs. The addition of PV could broaden the scope of Heliostat SA’s manufacturing supply to include PV racking systems.
Investing in South Australia’s Renewable Energy Future
The Aurora project is part of a much bigger picture for South Australia. SolarReserve hopes to build six solar thermal projects in the State over the next ten years, with its Australian headquarters in Adelaide serving as the development hub. South Australian manufacturing will be well positioned to support these future projects.
“The Aurora project along with SolarReserve’s future investment in the state will develop a supply chain and local manufacturing expertise that can be leveraged across the broader region, create thousands of jobs for South Australians, and bring about a new age in clean, reliable and affordable energy,” said Tom Georgis, SolarReserve’s Senior Vice President of Development.