Port Augusta – How we changed the conversation on renewables

  • repowering port augusta front cover

Beyond Zero Emissions’ research, transition plans, advocacy and community engagement, kicked off a five-year community campaign that led to: (1) a formal government inquiry, and (2) the South Australian Government announcing a $650 million Concentrated Solar Thermal plant for Port Augusta.

BZE is an organisation that punches far above its weight.  We changed the conversation on renewables in South Australia.


How it happened

Hear from two people central to the campaign: (1) Mark Ogge, the BZE Operations Director & Spokesperson for the Repower Port Augusta campaign, and (2) Hannah Aulby, the BZE Repower Port Augusta Campaign Manager.

*** Key Events:

In 2010, our Stationary Energy Report proposed 12 solar thermal power plants around Australia, including one in Port Augusta.

Port Augusta seemed ideal to be the first of these so, over 2011 and 2012, we developed the Repowering Port Augusta report. This was a plan for replacing the two coal power plants in Port Augusta with renewable energy.

We approached the local community, they got behind our plan and the Repower Port Augusta Alliance formed to advocate for the plan.

Community with banner "solar thermal for Port Augusta"

In October 2012, the South Australian government began an inquiry to consider the BZE “Repowering Port Augusta” report.

In 2013, BZE made a more detailed submission to this inquiry.

In December 2013,  the Interim Report of the inquiry, on page 1, recognised BZE’s leading role in this:

“This Select Committee’s inquiry into BZE’s Repowering Port Augusta proposal to replace the Alinta Energy (Alinta)’s Northern and Playford B coal-fired power stations at Port Augusta with [Concentrating Solar Thermal] CST plant has been challenging, educational and exciting for its members …

BZE is to be congratulated on identifying and articulating a potential opportunity that could play a role in creating a cleaner energy future for all South Australians, and a healthier environment for the residents of Port Augusta — many of whom have demonstrated their support for the BZE proposal through not only written submissions and evidence to the Committee but through rallies, marches and other lobbying.”

In August 2017, South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill awarded the contract for this $650 million solar thermal power plant.

This was a huge team effort, and BZE congratulates all involved, particularly the Repowering Port Augusta Alliance.

7 March 2018

By |2018-04-12T16:09:42+00:0006 Mar 2018|BZE Article, Pt Augusta Plan|Comments Off on Port Augusta – How we changed the conversation on renewables