Photon approaches FID with RayGen plant in South Australia

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Photon Energy has been developing projects with RayGen for some time now and from April 2020 it has made several equity investments in RayGen maintaining a 7.6% stake in the Melbourne-based startup.

RayGen’s technology features a field of smart, rotational mirrors that concentrate sunlight onto a tower-mounted receiver containing an array of PV modules, tiled with AZUR cells, into electricity and by-product heat. That solar energy is combined with the energy stored across two water reservoirs to create a ‘hot and cold’ solar hydro solution. When electricity is required from storage, the temperature difference drives an organic Rankine cycle (ORC) turbine to generate electricity. 

Just over a week ago, RayGen officially opened a 4 MW solar and long-duration energy storage project in Victoria, which was describing it as the world’s “highest efficiency PV project” operating at utility scale. The project in Carwarp, Victoria, boasts a 2.8 MW / 50 MWh storage capacity. The project partners claim it is the world’s largest and lowest-cost next-generation long-duration energy storage projects. Photon Energy joined the steering commitment for the Carwarp project and provided the Australian startup with advice and support during delivery.

At the opening of the Victorian project last week, Georg Hotar, CEO of Photon Energy Group was quick to mention the emerging project in South Australia: “As the RayGen technology tackles head-on the problem of intermittency of solar energy exporting electricity day and night and charging from solar and from the grid, we believe this technology has the potential to be deployed at a greater scale and we are progressing our efforts developing a similar 200 MW solar-plus-storage plant in Yadnarie, South Australia.”

“With this [Carwarp] project now commissioned, we can focus on delivering our growing pipeline of projects, especially the Yadnarie Solar Farm with Photon Energy,” confirmed Richard Payne, CEO of RayGen.

The solar fields of RayGen Carwarp Power Plant

Image: RayGen

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