Six months ago, we reported that the energy company, Alinta, had abandoned plans to establish a solar-thermal plant in Port Augusta following the Australian Renewable Energy Agency's (ARENA's) rejection of Alinta's application to fund a feasibility study into establishing the solar-thermal plant.

ARENA has now announced that it will contribute $1million to the feasibility study. Another $1.2 million will come from Alinta and a further $123,000 from the South Australian Government.

Alinta has been planning to close the 240 megawatt Playford B coal-fired power station in Port Augusta. The 520 megawatt Northern coal-fired power station, also in Port Augusta, is expected to be operated for only six months a year.

ARENA's CEO Ivor Frischknecht said that  “Many of our coal fired power stations are nearing the end of their life cycle, presenting a clear opportunity for renewable hybrid options. This timely study in South Australia will include a full feasibility stage exploring plant design, site and technical details.”