Posted on 12. May, 2010 in News

Victoria has featured strongly in the penultimate round of projects vying for funding under the Federal Government’s $1.5 billion Solar Flagships Program, Energy and Resources Minister Peter Batchelor said today.

The Australian Government has announced eight projects that will be invited to participate in the second stage of assessment for Round One of the Solar Flagships Program, which will then be narrowed down to two final projects. 

“The Brumby Labor Government is delighted the Commonwealth and industry have recognised Victoria as an ideal location to demonstrate large scale photovoltaic (PV) solar generation, with three of the four short-listed PV solar projects proposing a Victorian location,” Mr Batchelor said.

“Last year we announced we would provide up to $100 million for a new large-scale solar power station in Victoria to coincide with the national program.

“The success of these bids so far is a great endorsement of Victoria’s work to attract renewable energy innovation and technology – showing our investment climate is attracting the best in cutting-edge renewable energy projects.

“The strong response has also confirmed that the solar resource in Northern Victoria, when combined with the electricity and transportation infrastructure, is amongst the best in the world.”

Mr Batchelor said the three PV projects with a Victorian component are:

  • An AGL Energy multi-site proposal using thin film cadmium telluride solar photovoltaic technology to generate up to 200MW at multiple sites across Australia including Victoria;
  • A submission from TRUenergy, which proposes a single site near Mildura, using thin film cadmium telluride solar photovoltaic technology to generate up to 180MW; and
  • A proposal where Infigen Suntech’s crystalline silicon solar photovoltaic technology would be deployed at up to three sites in Victoria or New South Wales to generate up to 195MW.

Mr Batchelor said it was disappointing the State Opposition had used the Federal shortlisting announcement to talk down Victoria’s showing in the National program.

“It is simply laughable that the Opposition is attacking the Government’s significant investment in solar energy when their own leader Ted Baillieu is yet to commit a cent to promoting renewable energy,” he said.

“The Opposition has conveniently forgotten it was the Victorian Government that first put up the $100 million incentive for companies to take part in the Solar Flagship program more than 12 months ago, and now other states are following our lead. 

“This is the same Opposition that voted against the Victorian Renewable Energy Target designed to attract renewable energy investment in the State.”

Mr Batchelor said he looked forward to receiving submissions from the short-listed projects for the Victorian Large Scale Solar tender that closes on 24 May this year. 

In order to be eligible for the $100m funding, the Victorian component of a project must be capable of delivering at least 330GWh per annum into the grid. 

“Earlier this year, we extended the deadline for bids to May 24 to give applicants the opportunity to complete the Federal short-listing process as a first step to securing matching Commonwealth funding,” Mr Batchelor said.

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