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'Renewables capital of Australia'? Port Augusta shows off its green energy credentials

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 December.

"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)