Carbon Energy has signed a memorandum of understanding with Photon Energy to evaluate the development of a solar power generation plant with up to 20 MW capacity at its Bloodwood Creek facility near Dalby.
Carbon said the feasibility of an innovative power storage system on the Bloodwood site would also be assessed, exploring the potential use of the site’s existing underground infrastructure.
“This is a positive step for the Bloodwood Creek site and will help us realise some of the site’s potential, contributing to Queensland’s and Australia’s growing renewable energy needs,” Carbon Energy chief executive officer Morne Engelbrecht said.
The company was dealt a blow in April when the Queensland Government announced a complete ban on underground coal gasification (UCG) in the state.
Carbon Energy had spent more than eight years and $150 million demonstrating its keyseam technology, initially developed by the CSIRO, at Bloodwood Creek.
While fellow UCG pioneers Linc Energy and Cougar Energy have faced legal action on environmental grounds, Carbon Energy says its technology successfully accomplished all the recommendations outlined by the Queensland government’s Independent Scientific Panel (ISP) which included intense, independent environmental scrutiny.
Mr Engelbrecht said the Bloodwood Creek site was well positioned for solar energy production – with ideal weather conditions, connection to the grid and supportive infrastructure.
“The area is particularly well suited to this sort of technology, as evidenced by similar sites being planned in the area,” he said.
“We have found an ideal partner in Photon Energy, given their experience in building and commissioning solar PV power plants.”
He said the project would create scores of jobs during the construction phase, as well as several permanent skilled jobs to operate and maintain the plant over its anticipated 25-year life span, if it went ahead.
More at www.carbonenergy.com.au