Driving towards Port Augusta, a luminous white light appears on a
concrete shaft to the side of the highway.
The giant light is a receiver; it
sits among a sea of mirrors which beam the sun onto it, producing intense heat
that creates steam, turns a turbine, and makes electricity. It's known as
concentrating solar thermal, a new breed of energy.
Nearby, a chimney is visible in the
distance across the salt pans.
It's a remnant of the Northern Power
Station, one of two defunct coal-fired plants here that used to supply more
than a third of South Australia's electricity. Its boilers were detonated last
"In 2015 when they announced the
closure of the [Northern] coal-fired power station, I said that Port Augusta
would become the renewables capital of Australia," Sam Johnson, the mayor
of Port Augusta, said.
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(ABC NEWS 08/10/18)