Engineering begins on utility-scale concentrated solar thermal plant

Vast Solar Pty Ltd

Tuesday, 06 June, 2023

Engineering begins on utility-scale concentrated solar thermal plant

Vast Solar has awarded Worley key engineering contracts for its VS1 CSP project.

VS1 is a 30 MW/288 MWh CSP plant under construction in Port Augusta, South Australia. Using Vast’s proprietary modular tower CSP v3.0 technology, VS1 will generate clean, low-cost, dispatchable power with over 8 hours of thermal energy storage. This will create hundreds of jobs during construction, green manufacturing jobs and long-term plant operations roles.

Vast has appointed Worley and its specialist consulting division Advisian to complete VS1 basic engineering by July 2023, followed by front-end engineering design (FEED) in the balance of this calendar year. Construction is set to begin in 2024.

Craig Wood, Vast CEO, said, “With strong expertise in CSP, Worley and Advisian are the ideal engineering partners for VS1, which will utilise our industry-leading technology to capture and store the sun’s energy during the day before generating heat and dispatchable power during the day or night.”

Vast has previously worked with Worley and Advisian, with their relationship dating back to the engineering and commissioning of its 1.1 MW grid-connected Jemalong demonstration plant. They will be able to integrate Vast’s technology with major packages from around the world, allowing VS1 to progress towards FID.

Peter Israel, Worley Power & Energy Transition Practice Manager, said, “Worley is pleased to continue their support of Vast Solar with the provision of specialist engineering skills. This work aligns with our corporate ambition to be recognised globally as leader in sustainability solutions and delivering a more sustainable world.”

The Australian Government has supported Vast’s CSP v3.0 technology. Most recently, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) approved up to $65 million in funding to support construction of VS1.

It will be co-located with Solar Methanol 1 (SM1), a green methanol demonstration plant, which, in February, was selected to receive AU$19.48 million and EUR13.2 million between the Australian and German Governments, respectively. SM1 will use zero emissions dispatchable electricity and heat from VS1 to produce green methanol for use as a sustainable shipping fuel.

Image caption: Vast’s 1.1 MW CSP Demonstration Plant in Forbes, Australia, was operated for 32 months.

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