EnviroMission’s ‘Tower of Power’ closer to reality

The proposed La Paz solar tower in Arizona Source: EnviroMission

Melbourne-based clean energy technology company, EnviroMission, has announced new developments towards financing its proposed La Paz solar tower project in US state of Arizona.

EnviroMission’s program to adapt its solar tower technology –dubbed by the company as the Tower of Power – to US conditions, is set to generate 200MW of electricity for up to 150,000 households.

As per the new announcement, EnviroMission has executed a financial advisory agreement with Atkins Acuity, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, to raise the development and project capital necessary to commercialise the first EnviroMission solar tower power station.

Atkins Acuity is an end-to-end advisory consultancy that combines extensive engineering and master planning capability with new structuring, financing and project preparation expertise.

The development capital necessary to complete the design parameters of the La Paz solar tower is expected to be US$20 million (AU$25.65 million); the first stage is estimated by Atkins Acuity to be US$6 million (AU$7.7 million).

The design and engineering will be completed by the wider SNC-Lavalin group and a formal development agreement, already prepared, will be executed by the parties, on the receipt by EnviroMission of the initial capital.

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EnviroMission’s solar tower project in Arizona represents an extension of its work started in 2001 with the world’s first solar tower power station in Buronga, New South Wales.

A solar tower power plant – sometimes referred to as a “solar chimney” or “solar updraft tower” is a solar thermal power plant that combines the use of a solar air collector (canopy) and a central updraft tower.

The solar power tower uses a tower to receive the focused sunlight. It uses an array of flat, movable mirrors (called heliostats) to focus the sun’s rays upon a collector tower (the target). Concentrated solar thermal is seen as one viable solution for renewable, pollution-free energy.
Whilst EnviroMission now expects the first Solar Tower will be developed in the USA, it is felt international development will provide important leverage to increase development prospects in Australia. EnviroMission is seeking the strongest business case for development, and conditions in the USA support development ahead of Australia at this time.