White Cliffs area (posted 24/8/18)

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Volunteers Needed to assist with the Conservation of the Worlds First Solar Thermal Power Station.

This is an ongoing project, however work will be undertaken during the cooler winter months.

Location; White Cliffs (Far West of NSW) accessible via bitumen road from all state capitals. White Cliffs has a well stocked general store with fresh supplies weekly, caravan park, a Pub, cafe’s and a range of accommodation options from free to the luxury of the Underground Motel.

The White Cliffs Solar Thermal Power Station was the result of a NSW Government Grant to the Australian National University in July 1979.

The original power station was established by ANU researchers as an experimental facility with funding from the NSW State Government (Energy Authority of NSW). Construction commenced in 1981 and the final cost totalled nearly $1.9 million.

The power station comprised fourteen sun tracking parabolic dishes of 5 metres diameter (two rows of seven), each concentrating the suns rays onto a thermal absorber at its focal point to heat water to produce steam. The steam was piped back to a central heat exchanger to power a reciprocating steam engine generator that produced up to 25kW of electricity. Some of the energy was stored in batteries (to provide electricity at night) and a back-up diesel generator ensured supply during extended cloudy periods.

As Recognized by Engineers Australia “Whilst White Cliffs was also a research facility, the electricity output was sold to the local community, hence giving rise to its claim as the World’s First Commercial Solar Power Station.“

The power station was shut down and secured in 2005 remaining in this state ever since, suffering dust ingress and general decay.


The White Cliffs Solar Thermal Power Station Friends Inc. need your help to clean up the site and make it usable as a tourist attraction and educational facility.

We need you to be in good health, to be prepared to get your hands dirty whipper snipping the grounds or scrubbing the accumulation of dust and grime from the engine and associated equipment. A first aid certificate would be a bonus.

If you have a technical, industrial site safety, marketing, science or museum background even better, we would love to hear from you.

Please Contact Graeme Hanigan Secretary@mailcan.com  to register your interest.


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