The Solar Dawn Consortium has confirmed that  it will no longer be pursuing development of its proposed 250 megawatt solar thermal power facility in South-West Queensland.

Construction of what was to be Australia's largest solar thermal power plant, near Chinchilla in southwest Queensland, was due to begin in 2013. The Solar Dawn project was led by the French nuclear energy giant Areva, which planned to deploy the Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector technology it bought from Ausra in 2010.

The announcement follows extensive discussions with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) on options to move the project forward in response to dynamic market conditions.

Consortium spokesperson Anthony Wiseman said that the Consortium remains committed to Australia's large-scale concentrated solar power industry. "With ARENA soon to embark on a range of new initiatives, we look forward to sharing our experience and working with ARENA to help build Australia's clean energy future," he said.

Greg Bourne, the chairman of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, said that one of the problems with the Solar Dawn project was that, unlike other solar thermal projects now being developed around the world, Solar Dawn lacked an energy storage facility.