THERMAL SOLAR: A thermal solar power plant using a central tower surrounded by angled heliostats could generate between 100 and 200 megawatts of electricity.
THERMAL SOLAR: A thermal solar power plant using a central tower surrounded by angled heliostats could generate between 100 and 200 megawatts of electricity.

Solar company stops Charleville trial

TRIALS of a solar energy plant in Charleville have run out of steam, with technical difficulties preventing any future development.

Vast Solar has announced it will cease operation of its test sites east of town, after running into unsolvable issues connecting to the local electricity grid.

"Vast Solar will not be proceeding with the development of its 30-megawatt concentrated solar power reference plant near Charleville,” Vast Solar CEO Craig Wood said.

"Despite its excellent solar resource, it has become clear that the grid near Charleville does not have the strength to support a turbine of that size, nor does it have the capacity to export sufficient power to Roma.”

It has been about nine months since Vast Solar first looked at Charleville as a potential solar power resource, and in the beginning, the region showed promise.

The company had been working closely with the Murweh Shire Council, local businesses and managers of local properties to run data collection sites.

"We are disappointed to have arrived at this point, having spent significant time, money and effort in progressing the project, and we regret having raised the Charleville community's expectations.

"That said, we are grateful for the support provided by the council, local businesses, land owners and the Charleville community.

"Vast Solar will continue to develop several options for its 30MW Reference Plant in both Queensland and South Australia.”

Murweh Shire council was approached for comment, but was unable to respond before publication.


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