An Australian plan to construct the world's first large-scale solar thermal power station is taking shape at Buronga in the Wentworth Shire of New South Wales.

The first 200MW power station in the 'Solar Mission' project will produce enough electricity to power 200,000 households while reducing greenhouse CO2 emissions by as much as 750,000 tonnes.The thermal power station generates electricity when turbines are driven by heat rising from the transparent "collector" surrounding the tower.

The sun's rays provide heat to the massive collector during the day, while at night, heat-storing material positioned underneath releases its energy so that the process continues non-stop.

A prototype plant built in Spain operated for seven years between 1982 and 1989 and Australia - having high solar radiation levels, suitable sites and geological stability - is the ideal location for a large-scale, operational facility.Visit www.enviromission.com.au for further reading and video demonstration of the technology.