• Santos CCS work moving forward, while South Australia goes an hour powered solely by solar

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

Australian gas company Santos has taken another step in the development of its Moomba carbon capture and storage project in remote South Australia, having completed final field trials. Santos will now wait for a federal Clean Energy Regulator decision on if the methodology proposed for accounting for carbon dioxide storage is acceptable, and if so, the Moomba CCS scheme would be eligible for carbon credits, making it more economically feasible. Federal Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor has said progress on assessing the methodology is “progressing rapidly”, and given the government’s embrace of the gas industry and its championing of carbon capture and storage technology, it would be a surprise if the methodology was not accepted. If it goes ahead, Moomba will have an initial capacity to store 1.7 million tonnes of CO2 per year, but the capacity could rise to 20 million tonnes annually, and the per-tonne lifecycle capture and storage cost is projected to be AUD$27 (US$19.4/€16.5).

Meanwhile, the state of South Australia (home to 1.76 million people across 983,482 km²) has achieved what was reported as being a global milestone, in becoming the largest region to be entirely solar powered for an hour. The feat occurred on 11 October, with 77% of the solar power coming from roof-top installations and the remaining 23% from two utility-scale solar farms. Over the week (5-11 October), renewables contributed well over half the electricity consumed, wind being the larger contributor.