Energy company Alinta says it is considering a solar thermal pilot program for one of its power stations at Port Augusta in South Australia.
CEO Jeff Dimery has told a meeting of business leaders in the city the program would be an addition to the coal-fired plant.
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." Alinta said the pilot was being investigated for the Northern power station, while a contract of closure was being negotiated for the Playford station.