What Sets Us Apart

We offer cost effective CSP renewable energy technology with the power to transform world energy systems

Vast Solar’s story is an Australian innovation story . We have developed, tested and proven our technology at our pilot site at the beautiful Jemalong Station, 30km west of Forbes in central NSW.

Read on for more about what sets us apart, including how our technology adds value to energy systems that are in transition.

Vast Solar’s CSP system is an improvement over monolithic tower CSP systems because:

  • Our towers are small and our fields are modular; realising high optical efficiencies. We don’t rely on a single very tall tower and one receiver to capture and store the suns heat in molten salt. Instead, we use a greater number of small towers each with a dedicated, densely configured field of heliostats located close by. This means our system has the ability to direct and capture the suns heat much more efficiently and effectively.
  • We capture and store the sun’s heat efficiently via a unique, proprietary heat transfer fluid (HTF) and ‘thermal’ storage system. Unlike monolithic tower systems, which often use molten salt to capture and store thermal heat, Vast Solar’s design utilises liquid sodium to capture and transfer thermal heat to our molten salt storage system. Vast Solar’s custom HTF system makes possible the realisation of our unique modular field system as well as the very high thermal efficiencies from field to storage that Vast Solar technology delivers.
  • Our heliostats are dynamic and clever. Vast Solar’s unique heliostat control system and operational componentry are intelligently designed and operated for maximum field optical efficiency. The system enables our heliostats to respond appropriately to the suns movements each day of the year, to capture and transfer the maximum amount of free thermal energy from the sun, directly to our receiver towers.
  • Our system is modular, flexible and scalable. Our unique tower and field design, HTF system design and storage system means that utility scale CSP can be built quickly and cost effectively. Vast Solar CSP facilities can start small and grow over time, as more field modules are added, to extract ever greater efficiencies from the common thermal energy store and power block.
  • Our towers and heliostats are designed for cost effective sourcing, configuration and installation. They are built using replicable, industrially ‘manufacturable’ designs and techniques and simple to source components, that can be easily flat packed or transported by container for rapid turn-around on-site or near site assembly and construction.
  • Vast Solar’s CSP system core components are cost effective through all product life cycle stages: design, procurement and manufacture, operations and maintenance, to decommissioning.

Technology that helps drive the change to a clean energy future and adds value to energy systems in transition in more ways than one.  

Technology that helps maintain the value and performance of established power networks.

We’re not only making new utility scale renewable energy power generation with storage available. Our technology also offers energy investors and operators an important avenue to improve grid stability and to build the resilience of their power transmission and distribution systems.

The high quality renewable power (power that is reliable and synchronous) that Vast Solar CSP can deliver thereby supports the retention of asset value of power transmission and distribution systems.

We value the vital role that other renewable sources of energy have to play in creating a more mixed source energy system. However, as more renewable energy systems provide power to the grid, instability can increase. Because Vast Solar’s energy storage and steam turbine system generates high quality, fully dispatchable electricity, our system can deliver a load that can materially enhance grid stability and complement other renewable sources. These features will help smooth the transition to a more mixed energy future by adding resilience to local and regional energy generation and distribution assets.

Storage technology that can deliver renewable energy 24 hours a day

Vast Solar’s CSP technology includes storage that enables renewable energy to be generated and distributed 24 hours a day so that households, business and industry can access renewable energy at peak periods or when the sun has gone down or the wind doesn’t blow.

The power to affordably store thermal energy and then use this heat to generate and dispatch renewable energy is one of Vast Solar’s key competitive advantages over other renewable energy technologies.

Our ability to cost effectively store (thermal energy) and to dispatch renewable power when other renewable energy generators are not able to, means that our technology complements the contribution that other renewable energy sources can make and also helps to grow the overall contribution that renewable energy can make to a robust and stable power, transmission and distribution system.

We’re proud to be growing the role that CSP will play in the transition to a renewable energy future. We’re excited that our technology can add value to network operators and renewable energy generators so that together, we can all speed the transition the world needs now.

Power & Energy

Fossil fuels are fossils. It’s official. Clean energy is the future.

Around the world investors, governments and individuals are divesting dinosaur energy assets and looking to invest in the technologies that will deliver a clean energy future.

Vast Solar CSP technology is part of that future. We’re young, we’re fresh and our emergent technology offers dramatic potential for cost reductions.

Decarbonisation is a game changer.

The game has changed for good – for people and the planet. Paris tells us so and so does the market.

  • Those great people in Paris at the UN climate negotiations in 2015 achieved international agreements that established unprecedented, binding processes and targets that really are driving divestment and investment toward a decarbonised energy future.
  • Bloomberg New Energy Finance tells us that global investment in new clean energy reached a record US$329 billion in 2015.
  • By 2030 this is projected to deliver more than US$5 trillion in investment globally.
  • Internationally, 60% of all new power generation capacity built renewable (2013).
  • China
    • 2012: has installed capacity of wind 61GW and solar power 3.4GW.
    • 2017: increases renewables capacity dramatically with wind now at 168.5GW and solar power PV at 130.06 GW and growing.
    • Invests deeply in domestic CSP projects and is a world leader and partner in building CSP plants internationally.
  • And in Australia, States and Territories are taking substantial and direct action…
    • August 2018: The Queensland Government announces ‘CleanCo’ –  Queensland’s new renewable energy focused and public owned electricity generator. CleanCo will support new jobs and the renewable energy industry, starting with 1000MW of new renewables, all part of meeting a policy objective of 50 per cent renewable energy generation capacity by 2030 under the Queensland Renewable Energy Target (QRET).

Renewable Energy

A world of ever more affordable renewable energy

Around the world communities, consumers and power companies are switching onto and into clever new mixed energy systems and hybrid energy sources in ways we may have only dreamt about 30 years ago.

Renewable energy is affordable – Very now and here to stay

At Vast Solar we are at the vanguard of new generation modular, power tower CSP and we have great scope to grow, lean, clean and very cost competitively.  We’re chuffed to be in good company with wind and solar!

  • Renewable energy, it’s unaffordable – well that’s an unpopular myth! The average cost of solar panels fell 80% between 2009 and 2016 and scope for modular CSP cost reductions are similar.
  • 60% of ALL new international generation capacity built in 2013 were renewable

Around the world solar PV and wind farms have grown and flourished.

These established technologies have led the way in many locations and markets and are a big part of a decarbonising energy system (what we all want now!). But module costs of Solar PV may now be flatlining and wind costs are stabilising in many instances.

Vast Solar utility scale CSP plants – in the right location and market  – are very well positioned to cost competitively compete with Solar PV and wind farms. And we have alight footprint in the landscape and we offer storage, power on demand at peak shoulder periods and more…

Big Solar

Big is big but big solar with affordable storage is beautiful

Utility scale, large solar photovoltaic farms are being built across Australia and around the world and they are big, beautiful developments we all love to see.

Vast Solar CSP is part of the ‘big solar’ family that includes monolithic CSP technologies and diverse photovoltaic technologies, thin and thick film, now mature in terms of efficiency gain and scope for further cost improvements.

The great challenge for big solar is to access large scale, affordable storage so that the renewable energy generated during the day can be shared and used 24 hours a day. The race is on to develop utility scale, affordable battery systems.

At Vast Solar we have affordable thermal ‘storage’ in our technology bank

Vast Solar is solving a big problem. The world needs to repower to get away from burning fossil fuels and thermal storage technology will be a part of that mix.

With our CSP Pilot Plant completed and plant and test data and analysis to hand, we believe Vast Solar technology is the most prospective thermal storage technology in the world

Our unique proprietary HTF and thermal energy storage system means we can store and utilise thermal energy very efficiently – to then deliver power when it is needed, 24 hours a day.

The world’s turning clean and green and we’re turning clean renewable energy on day and night.