South Australian company HeliostatSA to help power India with solar

By John Merriman for The Lead South Australia

India has become the latest country to adopt the world-leading renewable energy technology being developed in South Australia.

Local company HeliostatSA has partnered with Indian company Global Wind Power Limited to develop a portfolio of projects in India and Australia over the next four years. It will begin with an initial 150 megawatts in Concentrated Solar Powered (CSP) electricity in Rajashtan, Indian using a solar array.

The projects are valued at $2.5 billion and will further cement HeliostatSA as a leader in the global renewable energy sector.

Heliostat CEO Jason May said India had made a commitment to reaching an investment target of USD $100 billion of renewable energy by 2019 and has already secured $20 billion.

“India is looking for credible, renewable energy partners for utility scale projects,’’ May said.

“We bring everything to the table that they require such as size, project development experience, capital funding, field design capability, the latest technology, precision manufacturing and expertise.’’

Each solar array is made of thousands of heliostats, which are mirrors that track and reflect the suns thermal energy on to a central receiver. The energy is then converted into electricity. Each HeliostatSA mirror is 3.21 x 2.22 metres with optical efficiency believed to be the most accurate in the world. This reduces the number of mirrors required, reducing the overall cost of CSP while still delivering the same 24 hour electricity outputs.

The heliostats and their high tech components are fabricated using laser mapping and steel cutting technology.

The mirrors are slightly parabolic and components need to be cut and measured to exact requirements to achieve the strict operational performance.

“There is strong global interest in CSP with thermal storage for 24 hour power. At the moment large-scale batteries which also store electricity are very expensive. Constant advances in CSP storage technology over the next 10 years will only add to the competitive advantage,’’ May said.