ANNETTE MARNER, PRESENTER: Well, will solar thermal power replace the coal-fired Playford B power station at Port Augusta? Now, Port Augusta has two coal-fired plants: Playford B, which became fully operational back in 1964; and the second is the Northern power station, which was commissioned in 1985. Now, these plants provide something like 40 percent of the State’s electricity supply. The older one is used during periods of higher demand - that’s the Playford one - for example, during a heatwave when we’re all running air conditioners. And as we know, the coal for the plants is mined at Leigh Creek and brought to Port Augusta by rail.
Now, Beyond Zero Emissions is an independent not-for-profit organization, they say they receive no government or industry funding. Now, they’ve released a report called Repowering Port Augusta, and very much, the focus is on a vision for Port Augusta being the hub of solar thermal power, ultimately, replacing both [coal-fired] power plants.
Mark Ogge is from Beyond Zero Emissions and joins us. Mark Ogge, welcome to ‘Late Afternoons’ today.
MARK OGGE, BEYOND ZERO EMISSIONS STRATEGIC DIRECTOR: Hi Anne. Good to be here.