A novel plan for a 50 megawatt hybrid solar thermal project in Mount Isa has got financial backing from Queensland government-owned energy giant Stanwell Energy.

The $600 million project, proposed last year by thermal solar specialist Vast Solar, would mix a unique brand of concentrated thermal solar generation with solar PV, gas peaking and a battery to provide power to Mount Isa and the wider North West Minerals Province, which is cut off from the National Energy Market.

Under the joint development agreement announced today, Stanwell will initially provide $5 million towards a feasibility study, with Vast Solar also providing $5 million. The study will examine logistical details, planning requirements, customer off-take, and financing.

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