Solar project with thermal hydro storage lands in Australia

Melbourne based start-up RayGen has secured AUD$3 million to facilitate a research study into the technology

Melbourne based start-up RayGen claims to have developed a ‘world-first’ renewable energy facility in northwestern Victoria.

To test its efficiency, the Australian Government and the Australian Renewable Agency (ARENA) have announced funding of AUD$3 million (£1.5m) to facilitate a research study – if approved, RayGen will commence the construction of a grid-scale renewable energy plant in Carwarp, offering 17 hours of storage capacity.

The power plant uses photovoltaic technology that relies on tower-mounted heliostats and solar cells to generate power. The heat produced as a by-product is captured and stored in water.

The cost estimate of the first phase of the 4MW project stands at AUD$6 million (£2.8m).

ARENA’s CEO Darren Miller said: “RayGen’s solution could complement other more traditional forms of storage such as grid-scale batteries and pumped hydro.”

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