Australia To Develop Solar Power With US$331 Million Photovoltaic Program
Tech & Pharma
February 8, 2012
Australia is planning to construct a large-scale, solar photovoltaic power station based on a US$331 million grant from the government.
AsianScientist (Feb. 8, 2012) – Australia is planning to construct a large-scale, solar photovoltaic (PV) power station based on a AU$306.5 million (US$331 million) grant from the government.
Four Round 1 applicants have been shortlisted as part of the Solar Flagships Program, and a decision resulting from this process is expected in the second quarter of 2012.
The Moree Solar Farm consortium, the preferred Round 1 applicant, was given until December 15 last year to meet financial close and make substantial changes to the project that was originally selected. It is being assessed against three other shortlisted PV projects from AGL, Infigen-Suntech, and TRUenergy.
“This Labor Government is providing unprecedented support for the development of a broad range and scale of solar energy projects and technologies in Australia,” said the Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP.
According to analysts, the solar PV industry is undergoing a period of change and consolidation, due in part to PV panel prices dropping by as much as 70 percent in the past two years.
Solar thermal project bid
The Australian government has also extended the time to reach financial close for the only solar thermal project assessed to be viable by the Solar Flagships Council.
Solar Dawn, the AU$1.2 billion 250 MW solar thermal project near Chinchilla in Queensland, has been given a deadline of June 30, 2012 to reach financial close, said Minister Ferguson.
In a recent opinion article by Professor Martin Green, executive research director at the ARC Photovoltaics Center of Excellence at UNSW, Green urged Australia to take greater notice of solar energy, and described the commercialization of Australian solar technology in China and other parts of the world.
“I am more interested in getting the real solar story out; that solar panels are a proven, reliable, ever cheaper source of electricity which can play a major role in powering the world,” Prof. Green wrote.
“If Australians don’t understand that reality we’ll be left scrapping on the global sidelines long after China, Germany and the rest, have run off with the renewables ball,” he cautioned.
Source: Dept of Resources, Energy and Tourism Australia.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.