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Green light to build Australia's largest solar projects



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The Hon Julia Gillard, MP

MINISTER FOR RESOURCES AND ENERGY

Martin Ferguson

GREEN LIGHT TO BUILD AUSTRALIA’S LARGEST SOLAR PROJECTS

The Federal Government will provide more than three quarters of a billion dollars to help build two of the largest solar power stations in the world.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson today announced the record funding to support construction of the solar projects at Chinchilla in Queensland and Moree in New South Wales.

Solar Dawn and Moree Solar Farm have been selected as the two successful consortiums to build the power plants under Round 1 of the Australian Government’s $1.5 billion Solar Flagships program.

Investment in clean energy projects such as these will continue to help make industrial-scale solar power more feasible, affordable and viable - which will benefit all Australians.

Putting a price on carbon will also help drive the investment we need in renewable and clean energy technologies such as solar.

The Gillard Labor Government will contribute $464 million for the project in Chinchilla worth an estimated $1.2 billion and $306.5 million towards the project in Moree worth an estimated $923 million.

Together, the projects are expected to generate enough power to support the electricity needs of more than 115,000 Australian homes per year.

The Solar Dawn consortium, led by Areva Solar, will build a 250 megawatt (MW) solar thermal gas hybrid power plant near Chinchilla.

Solar Dawn will be one of the largest power plants of its kind in the world as well as one of the most environmentally responsible.

At least 85 per cent of Solar Dawn’s power generation will be entirely emissions free.

During construction, Solar Dawn estimates the project will generate $570 million in economic activity in the region and create 300 jobs on average.

The Moree Solar Farm consortium, led by BP Solar will build a 150 MW photovoltaic power plant near Moree.

This is nearly twice the size of any photovoltaic power plant operating in the world today.

It is estimated that the project will create on average around 300 jobs during construction.

Work will commence next year and the plants are expected to be completed and commissioned by the end of 2015.

Together, Solar Dawn and the Moree Solar Farm will bring Australia closer to a cleaner energy future.

Both projects will also provide jobs and economic growth in regional Australia.

The projects were selected in accordance with the recommendations of the independent Solar Flagships Council.

The Australian Government is helping drive this transition by directly investing in these and other projects under the $5 billion Clean Energy Initiative, through the expanded Renewable Energy Target and by pricing carbon. 

 

BRISBANE

18 JUNE 2011

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