Posted on 26. Jul, 2010 in Greening Victoria

Premier John Brumby announced today that the Victorian Government would fast track applications for new solar stations in regional Victoria, in response to the recent announcement to increase Victoria’s electricity supply from solar power to five per cent by 2020.

Mr Brumby announced last week that Victoria was set to become Australia’s solar state through a plan to increase Victoria’s electricity supply from large scale-solar power to five per cent by 2020.

“This commitment to a sustainable future for Victoria should see the establishment of between five and 10 large solar plants across regional Victoria,” Mr Brumby said.

“In order to achieve our target as early as possible, the Government will fast track the approval processes and make land available at strategic locations across the state to assist with development.”

Mr Brumby said he had asked Regional and Rural Development Minister Jacinta Allan to assess government and municipal owned land that could be suitable for solar developments.

“State and local governments have significant land holdings that may be suitable for solar developments,” he said.

“Making this land available will speed up developments and bring on more solar power faster.”

As part of the fast tracking process, Mr Brumby also announced today that government land at Nowingi, near Mildura would be made available for a new solar facility, subject to developer interest and community support.

“This land in Nowingi, which is owned by the Victorian Government may well be suitable for a further large scale solar development in North West Victoria,” Mr Brumby said.

“To further assist and accelerate solar investment, the government will look to make this land available, subject to a positive community response.”

Ms Allan said that the new 5 per cent target for solar power would provide huge economic opportunities in regional Victoria, generating between $1.5 and $2 billion in new solar investment.

“I will be working closely with energy companies, local government, environment and industry groups to maximise the job opportunities – particularly in regional Victoria – that will flow from these initiatives,” Ms Allan said.

Mr Brumby said the new solar target and the measures announced today to fast track approvals for new developments formed part of the Victorian Government’s landmark Climate Change White Paper to be released soon.

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