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Sunshine state withdraws support from solar project



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Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism

Sunshine State Withdraws Support from Solar Project 02 July 2012

The Queensland Government has terminated its $75 million funding deed to the 250 megawatt Solar Dawn project in Chinchilla and the fate of the project now hangs in the balance.

The Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP, said while the project has made considerable progress since being awarded funding, this is a disappointing development.

“The Solar Dawn project offers Queensland the opportunity to be at the forefront of solar thermal technology and home to one of the largest solar power stations in the world,” said Minister Ferguson.

“These opportunities have to be grabbed but the Queensland Government seems content to let them slip by.

“The Queensland Government is putting at jeopardy a project that represents $1.5 billion in economic investment to regional Queensland, 300 construction and local manufacturing jobs and a $68 million solar research and development program at the University of Queensland.”

The Australian Government has committed $464 million to the Solar Dawn project under the Solar Flagships Program and the project was given until 30 June 2012 to meet financial close.

The Solar Dawn project has indicated it has been unable to meet these conditions.

“The Australian Government remains committed to the deployment of large scale solar energy technology in Australia and we want Queensland to have the opportunity to lead the world in solar technology,” Minister Ferguson said.

“I have therefore written to the Chair of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, Mr Greg Bourne, referring the project to ARENA for further consideration.”

The future of the Solar Dawn project will now be determined by the newly created independent Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), which came into effect on 1 July 2012.

More information on the Solar Flagships Program is available at www.ret.gov.au.

Media Contact:

Elyse Gatt - 0407 198 136

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