The Australian company Vast Solar wants to combine solar PV, a large-scale battery and gas engines with integrated generators and bring new jobs into the area.
The development of the 50MW power plant will create hundreds of construction jobs during the building phase, which is scheduled for about two years, as well as dozens of permanent, operational jobs. With the combination of different technologies, the plant will deliver significantly cleaner as well as cheaper energy in its operational life time of 30 years.
“Not only is this exactly the type of project our community needs, but with clear, sunny skies for most of the year and an extra hour of sunlight to the rest of Queensland, Mount Isa is the ideal area in which to locate it,” says Danielle Slade, Mayor of Mount Isa.
Vast Solar currently discusses its plans with investors and the region’s major energy users. Craig Wood, the company’s CEO, says: “We’ve been delighted with the positive discussions we’ve had with political leaders, industry and the local community. If we get the green light to progress, we will be a long-term partner of Mount Isa and the surrounding area, creating jobs and tangible benefits that will last for the lifetime of the plant. Total investment in the plant is expected to be in excess of $600m and we are committed to using local suppliers where possible. Our plant will deliver new generation to the local electricity market at a lower cost than current power plants. This will ensure local mining and smelting operations can access reliable low-cost energy that also reduces their emissions – a key focus for resources companies.”
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