Vast Solar issues call for EOI for $600m solar thermal project in Mount Isa


A partnership led by Australian technology company Vast Solar has issued a call for expressions of interest (EOI) to deliver the proposed innovative North West Queensland Hybrid Power Project (NWQHPP).

The NWQHPP is a world-first integrated 50MW solar hybrid baseload power plant. The project combines Vast Solar’s modular tower concentrating solar thermal power (CSP) technology with photovoltaic (PV), battery and gas engine generators to deliver low cost, reliable, clean energy to the Mount Isa region.

Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said the call was out for Queenslanders to build what will be the largest hybrid generator and the first utility scale CSP plant in Australia.

“The development of the proposed NWQHPP will need a highly-skilled workforce during the two-year build and dozens of permanent skilled jobs over the 30-year life of the plant,” the Minister said.

Vasl Solar is delivering the $600 million project in partnership with Queensland’s publicly owned generator Stanwell.

An agreement signed between the pair provides $10 million of funding to study the feasibility of the 50 megawatt plant, which will produce 85% clean energy and use significantly less fuel than current generators over its 30 year operational life.

Vast Solar CEO Craig Wood said the project was calling for expressions of interest from contractors across a range of workstreams.

“This is another significant milestone as we work through the feasibility study and get closer to turning soil on site,” Mr Wood said.

“We are looking forward to hearing from a range of contractors who will be critical in bringing this project to life.

“Building the plant will require collaboration between local, regional and national experts from a range of fields, and will involve hundreds of workers from Mount Isa and the surrounding area.

“Vast Solar has been engaging local contractors to deliver various services at the proposed project site since July 2020, and we look forward to continuing our commitment to providing local employment opportunities.

“We’re ensuring the project is developed in conjunction with local contractors and government wherever possible.”

The joint study is expected to be completed in late 2021.

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