Clean energy project heats up with government grant

cleanGEOTHERMAL energy explorer Petratherm has received a $13 million grant from the Federal Government to prove the commercial potential of its Paralana project in South Australia.
Paralana is the company’s flagship project 600km north of Adelaide and the company, in a joint venture with Beach Energy (21 per cent), is looking to build a 3.75 megawatt equivalent commercial power development to supply a local off-grid mine with a long-term goal of providing large scale power through the national grid.
The funding, provided by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) as part of its Emerging Renewables Program (ERP), will back the next stage of work at the project’s second deep well Paralana 3. “We are absolutely delighted with the grant and also buoyed by the Federal Government’s endorsement of the Paralana project which has enormous potential as part of Australia’s clean energy future,” Petratherm managing director Terry Kallis said.
“We have budgeted $26 million for the next stage of works at Paralana, so this $13 million grant will effectively finance half the project costs.”
Petratherm previously received a $7 million Geothermal Drilling Program (GDP) grant and a $62.8 million Renewable Energy Demonstration Program (REDP) grant for a 30MW project. After receiving the ERP grant, the company agreed to relinquish $2.8 million from the GDP grant and varied its REDP grant to $24.5 million for a 7MW project.
The Paralana project is one of two advanced engineered geothermal systems projects aiming for large scale generation in Australia, according to ARENA chief executive Ivor Frischknecht.
“The next stage of works will involve the drilling of a second deep well and the completion of a deep geothermal reservoir at approximately 3.8km depth that connects the two wells with the ultimate aim of demonstrating commercial flows,” Mr Kallis said.
“If successful, we’ll be able to trigger our REDP grant monies which will fund one-third of our initial 3.5MW pilot plant. “Significantly, once our pilot plant is operational we’ll be able to start generating regular revenue from the project which we’re obviously very excited about too.”
Petratherm has reported that it expects the works to begin later this year.