Vast Solar has successfully manufactured its world-leading concentrated solar thermal power (CSP) technology at its Prototype Manufacturing Facility in Goodna, Queensland, paving the way for full-scale manufacturing plants in Australia that will employ dozens of skilled workers.

Vast Solar’s Australian technology generates clean, low-cost, dispatchable power, capturing and storing the sun’s energy during the day to be used to generate electricity at night. It will be deployed at Vast Solar’s VS1 Port Augusta 30MW power plant, which has received federal government backing of up to $110 million in concessional finance.

At its Prototype Manufacturing Facility, Vast Solar has designed, manufactured and tested its next-generation heliostats and solar receivers. These proven components will be manufactured for commercial deployment by an advanced automated manufacturing plant designed in Queensland in partnership with leading global auto-industry manufacturing firms.

CSP is the missing piece of the transition to clean energy and one of the only technologies that offers long-duration storage and can generate emissions-free electricity overnight. The Energy Technology Investment Roadmap identifies it as a key technology, as does the Long Duration Energy Storage Council, formed at COP 26. CSP is already deployed at-scale overseas, and the International Energy Agency has forecast it will increase tenfold to reach 70GW globally by 2030.

This presents a huge opportunity for Vast Solar and its IEA-awarded technology.  Development of a domestic CSP manufacturing and export industry will help Australia’s grid, mining and industry to decarbonise robustly, independent of fragile overseas supply chains.

Craig Wood, Chief Executive Officer of Vast Solar, said:

“Our CSP Gigafactory is a big step forward for Vast Solar and, more importantly, Australia’s ambitions to develop a clean energy manufacturing industry.

“Our technology will be deployed in all sunny countries around the world to generate clean, low-cost, reliable energy, and we are keen to manufacturing it locally. CSP is an industry in which Australia genuinely has the potential to be a world leader, and getting manufacturing up and running will ensure we don’t lose out to overseas competitors who are rapidly developing their CSP capabilities.

“We are currently in discussions with state and federal governments and investors to identify a suitable location for the manufacturing facility, which we intend to scale up to become the world’s first CSP Gigafactory”