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Solar Thermal Electricity Generation

The Hon. J.A. DARLEY ( 15:11 :18 ): My question is to the Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation regarding solar thermal electricity generation at Port Augusta. I understand that several companies have expressed an interest in replacing the coal-fired power station at Port Augusta with a solar thermal plant. Given the potential employment opportunities and environmental benefits, in addition to electricity generation, from such projects, will the minister provide details on how many companies have approached the government with a business proposal for such a project, and advise the current status of these applications? Can the minister also advise the comparative costs of generating electricity from solar thermal gas-fired generators and wind power generators per megawatt hour?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Employment, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation, Minister for Automotive Transformation, Minister for Science and Information Economy) ( 15:12 :10 ): I thank the honourable member for his question. Personally, I am not aware of any such companies, but I will refer that question to the Minister for Energy and bring back a reply for the honourable member.