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Pt. Augusta's $650m solar thermal power plant set to light up the nation

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NXT deal earlier this year underpins ground-breaking project

Pt. Augusta's $650m solar thermal power plant set to light up the nation

Senator Nick Xenophon says South Australians should see lower power prices, a further easing of the

State's energy woes and a big jobs boost for the northern region after the green light was given to a

giant $650 million solar thermal generator to be built in Port Augusta.

The project, announced today by the Weatherill Government, was only made possible following a $110 million concessional equity loan deal in return for the Federal Government's company tax cuts.

"This is senational news all round- for Port Augusta and the northern region, South Australia and the nation. This will ne a transformation project, " an elated Senator Xenophon said in Canberra at a press

conference he held with Pt. Augusta Mayor Sam Johnson, a long-time champion of the project.

"The solar reserve thermal generator, to be constructed by Solar Reserve, will transform the energy market in SA .

"It will mean more grid stability with a renewable energy source which provides baseload power.

"It will be a flagship project from which the entire nation and regional areas can and benefit from."

A jubilant Sam Johnson was in Canberra with Senator Xenophon when the announcement was made by the SA Premier Jay Weatherill that work would start on the plant next year.

"It wouldn't have happened without people like Nick Xenophon who negotiated that $110 million deal," said Mr. Johnson, who has lobbied furiously for a major energy project since the town's coal-fired power stations were closed down.

" Nick made it happen.He chose Port Augusta that day when he negotiated with (Prime Minister) Malcolm Turnbull.

"For that as a community and a region we are appreciative of the work Nick has put into it."

As well as nearly 4000 direct and indirect jobs, the project is also expected to deliver other economic benefits to the area.

"This will make a big difference in the SA energy market because it will provide more baseload power

than the intermittent power we get from wind turbines," Senator Xenophon said.

"With a more stable energy market and grid security, it should result in lower power bills."

Mayor Johnson said Pt. Augusta was "back leading the way" in the energy industry.

"We're back in the game and we're pretty bloody happy with that, just quietly," he said.

For further information contact Nick Xenophon on 0411 626 677 or Frank Pangallo on 0433 620 850

Nick Xenophon Electoral Office

Level 2, 31 Ebenezer Place


Ph: (08) 8232 1144