The Australian Solar Council welcomes the Federal Government’s announcement that the 155 MW solar power plant to be built in NSW and Victoria has reached financial close and will commence construction in 2014.
This project, when completed will be more than 15 times bigger than the biggest solar farm currently in operation in Australia, and will provide enough electricity for around 50,000 homes, and deploy 620,000 solar modules.
“This is an important milestone for big solar in Australia and we congratulate ARENA and AGL on this successful outcome”, said John Grimes, Chief Executive of the Australian Solar Council.
While Australia wins the gold medal for the number of solar installations each year, other countries install far fewer systems, but the systems they install are larger.
Until now Australian banks have taken a cautious approach to large sale solar, because while utility scale pants are commonplace overseas, they haven’t yet been done here.
This project should change that. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), backed by both sides of politics, has played a key role in bridging the financial gap, and allowing the project to proceed.
ARENA has played a critical role in driving down project costs, and showing that big solar has a bright future in Australia.
This 155MW project is large even by global standards. It is important that AGL, together with ARENA have been able to get over the 2 key hurdles for big solar, the finance and a long term off take agreement to guarantee that the power produced will be purchased.
“The Council sees this as another critical step along the path to a clean distributed energy future for Australia and hopes that other utilities move quickly to transform their businesses as AGL has done with ARENA support”, said Grimes.
About the Australian Solar Council
The Australian Solar Council is the peak industry and research body for solar in Australia. Tracing its history back 52 years, and provides independent expert advice to government, the industry and the public on solar and related issues.
Tracey is an accountant and entrepreneur with a passion for nature. This passion is what spurred her interest in renewable energy, and the rest is history as they say. Tracey is a principal in Energy Think Group, the publisher of Solar Thermal Magazine and Tek-Think. She is also the principal at Women's Financial Help Desk. She spends her free time in the outdoors with her horses and dogs. She loves to travel.