Vast Solar, a renewable energy company specialising in concentrated solar thermal power (CSP) energy systems, has announced that it has awarded Worley with key engineering contracts for its VS1 CSP project in Australia.

The project involves the construction of a 30MW/288MWh CSP plant in Port Augusta, South Australia. Utilizing Vast’s modular tower CSP v3.0 technology, the VS1 CSP project aims to generate clean, low-cost, and dispatchable power with more than eight hours of thermal energy storage.

Worley power and energy transition practice manager Peter Israel said: “Worley is pleased to continue their support of Vast Solar with the provision of specialist engineering skills. This work aligns with our corporate ambition to be recognised globally as leader in sustainability solutions and delivering a more sustainable world.”

The undertaking is expected to create dozens of green manufacturing jobs, provide employment for hundreds of workers during the construction phase, and offer long-term plant operation positions.

Vast has selected Worley, along with its specialised consulting division Advisian, to complete the basic engineering for VS1 CSP project by July 2023. Subsequently, the project will move forward with the front-end engineering design (FEED) throughout the remainder of the year.

Vast CEO Craig Wood said: “With strong expertise in CSP, Worley and Advisian are the ideal engineering partners for VS1, which will utilise our industry-leading technology to capture and store the sun’s energy during the day before generating heat and dispatchable power during the day or night.”

The construction of the VS1 CSP project is set to commence in 2024.

The Vast Solar CSP v3.0 technology has garnered substantial support from the Australian government. Recently, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) announced its approval of up to A$65m ($42.8m) in funding to support the construction of the VS1 project, further solidifying its commitment to advancing renewable energy initiatives.

The VS1 CSP plant will be co-located with Solar Methanol 1 (SM1), a green methanol demonstration plant. Earlier this year, SM1 was chosen to receive A$19.48m ($12.8m) from the Australian government and €13.2m from the German government.

The collaboration aims to leverage zero emissions dispatchable electricity and heat generated by the VS1 CSP project to produce sustainable green methanol for use as a shipping fuel.