ARENA announces $10 million to back RayGen’s new solar storage plant in Victoria

Image credit: RayGen | ARENA

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has awarded $10 million in funding to RayGen Resources to support the development of its advanced solar and thermal storage technology for commercialisation and full utility-scale deployment. 

The federal funding comes as RayGen opens its power plant in Carwarp in northwestern Victoria today, marking a significant milestone in the commercialisation of RayGen’s technology. 

RayGen will use the funding to improve the design of its technology, reduce the cost of materials, and conduct a basic and front-end engineering design of a planned utility-scale 200 MW solar and 115 MW / 1.2 GWh storage deployment of its technology in Australia. 

The commercial project demonstrates RayGen’s innovative technologies across hi-tech solar and thermal storage, which will generate 4 MW of renewable power backed with 2.8 MW / 50 MWh of storage for approximately 17 hours. 

ARENA Chief Executive Darren Miller said the development of RayGen’s technology is expected to help address Australia’s future dispatchable electricity and energy storage needs. 

“ARENA has supported RayGen for over a decade from early design validation, through to pilot-scale and now progressing to utility-scale assets,” Miller said. 

“Given RayGen’s operating characteristics and cost reduction potential at scale, its solar-and-storage technology could make a significant contribution to addressing Australia’s growing need for dispatchable renewable electricity and longer duration energy storage,” the CEO added. 

ARENA has been backing RayGen since 2012 and has provided a total of $38.4 million across five previous projects, along with the latest one announced today. 

Prior funding awarded to the company included support for a pre-commercial scale pilot of its early-stage technology, development and deployment of high-tech and thermal technologies, and the feasibility and development stage of the RayGen Carwarp project. 

“ARENA plays an essential role in supporting the technologies that drive Australia’s renewable energy transition and positioning Australian manufacturing for new global export opportunities,” said Richard Payne, chief executive officer of RayGen.