Australia, the land down under: home to the outback, koala bears, the Uluru sandstone rock formation, the world’s largest coral reef — and soon, home to one of the world’s largest solar power plants courtesy of Madrid-based Cobra Energy.
At a hefty cost of $1 billion, the proposed power plant will aim to generate 250MW of solar power in Australia. “When completed, Cobra’s plant will be powered by both photovoltaic panels and solar thermal technology, which uses boiled water to generate energy,” according to Inhabitat. Although purportedly not as powerful as a conventional coal-powered alternative, Cobra’s solar plant will distinguish itself through the use of molten salts: able to be used for thermal storage and as heat transfer fluids, the plant will employ molten salts to store surplus energy during the day. When the sun sets, the salts will generate power for another 7.5 hours.
While many technical details have been worked out, Cobra is still debating over a number of possible construction sites for the plant. The company has also applied for funding through the Australian government’s $1.5-billion Solar Flagship program. Though it has not received approval, a green light would see Cobra’s solar plant providing the entirety of Australia with over half of its 400 MW solar power goal.
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