Energy company Alinta has told business representatives at Port Augusta in South Australia of a plan to convert its two coal-fired power stations to solar thermal technology.
The representatives have met Alinta CEO Jeff Dimery.
The Playford and Northern power stations at Port Augusta have been earmarked for closure due to high emissions and questions about their viability under carbon pricing.
Shaun Davidson, from the business group, said it was surprising to hear of Alinta's plan.
"I just would have naturally assumed that the generator would have gone for the cheaper option which was gas," he said.
"But I guess they explained their long-term plans or even their short-term plans don't include gas.
"They envisage the gas price will rise sharply within the next few years and make gas more of an expensive option."