SA funding for Australia’s first straw-fuelled power plant

Yorke Biomass Energy has gained government backing for plans to develop Australia’s first straw-fuelled power plant near Ardrossan, on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula.

The company has received a $476,000 Renewable Technology Fund grant towards a feasibility study to be carried out before the company makes a final decision on investment.

The straw-fuelled biomass generator will produce 15MW of power, as well as a new income stream for farmers and additional competition for the grid, which puts downward pressure on power prices.

The demonstration project will be located near the Ardrossan West substation and will create about 40 ongoing jobs if progressed.

Once the Ardrossan demonstration project is complete, Yorke Biomass Energy plans to replicate the project across South Australia in remote and off-grid locations, particularly where crop farming and mining projects are located.

The company has identified 10 potential locations to produce up to 150MW of additional generation capacity in South Australia.

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The Yorke Biomass Energy plant is the latest project to be supported through the State Government’s Renewable Technology Fund. Other renewables projects supported through the fund include:

  • Tesla big battery at Jamestown
  • Tesla Virtual Power Plant
  • Tilt solar farm and big battery at Snowtown
  • SIMEC ZEC pumped hydro project near Whyalla
  • Altura pumped hydro project near port Augusta
  • Rise pumped Hydro project near Port Germein
  • EnergyAustralia pumped hydro project near Whyalla
  • 1414 Degrees bioenergy storage at the Glenelg Waste Water Treatment Plant
  • Sunshift solar storage project
  • Planet Ark Schneider solar storage project
  • UniSA solar storage project.

“More renewable energy means cheaper power for South Australians, and the State Government is supporting the development of a diverse range of new renewables projects to add competition to the grid,” said South Australia’s Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis.

“This is new technology that would not only be an Australian first but could create hundreds of new jobs in regional South Australia as Yorke Biomass Energy seek to roll out as many as 10 straw-fuelled power stations across the State.”

This project would also create new income streams for local farmers seeking to supply straw to the plant, helping sustain and build regional communities on Yorke Peninsula.

“This funding grant will enable us to take some big steps forward with our demonstration project and proceed through to commercial close during the second half of 2018,” said Yorke Biomass Energy Chairman Terry Kallis.

“It’s also a fantastic vote of confidence in the project by the South Australian Government, which continues to look at innovative new ways to provide cheaper, greener and more reliable energy in South Australia.”