Amidst calls for the cessation of just such funding, Australia’s Renewable Energy Agency has approved twelve large-scale solar PV projects for funding as part of its multi-million dollar large-scale solar funding round.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) announced funding this week for twelve new large-scale solar PV power plants now set to be constructed across Australia, effectively tripling the amount of electricity which will be produced from solar in the country. Despite fears that such funding could soon be cut off, ARENA announced funding for the twelve new projects, which are together expected to unlock almost $1 billion of commercial investment, as well as boost regional Australian economies during construction and operation.
“ARENA is working to accelerate Australia’s shift to a sustainable, affordable and reliable energy future and our work supporting the development of Australia’s large-scale solar industry is central to this vision,” said ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht. “Six plants in Queensland, five plants in New South Wales and one plant in Western Australia are slated for funding, in a major milestone that’s expected to triple Australia’s large-scale solar capacity from 240 MW to 720 MW.”
According to Frischknecht, upon completion the twelve plants will generate enough electricity to power 150,000 average Australian homes, and contribute 10% of the new capacity required to meet Australia’s admittedly weak 2020 renewable energy target. In addition, according to Frischknecht, “Regional economies will benefit massively from the growing big solar industry, with 2,300 direct jobs and thousands more indirect jobs expected to be created by this round.”
The full funding breakdown is as follows:
|ARENA funding||Total project cost||Nearest town|
|Origin Energy||Darling Downs Solar Farm||110.0||$20 m||$216.7 m||Dalby, QLD|
|Edify Energy with Solar Choice||Whitsunday Solar Farm||58.1||$9.5 m||$122.4 m||Collinsville, QLD|
|Neoen Australia||Parkes Solar Farm||50.6||$7.5 m||$107.9 m||Parkes, NSW|
|Genex Power||Kidston Solar Farm||50.0||$8.9 m||$126.2 m||Kidston, QLD|
|Manildra Solar Farm||Manildra Solar Farm||42.5||$10.9 m||$109.3 m||Manildra, NSW|
|RATCH Australia Corporation||Collinsville Solar Power Station||42.0||$9.5 m||$95.9 m||Collinsville, QLD|
|Neoen Australia||Griffith Solar Farm||25.0||$5.0 m||$54.6 m||Griffith, NSW|
|Canadian Solar (Australia)||Oakey Solar Farm||25.0||$2.2 m||$47.5 m||Oakey, QLD|
|Neoen Australia||Dubbo Solar Farm||24.2||$5.5 m||$55.6 m||Dubbo, NSW|
|APT Pipeline (APA Group)||Emu Downs Solar Farm||20.0||$5.5 m||$47.2 m||Cervantes, WA|
|Goldwind Australia||White Rock Solar Farm||20.0||$6.0 m||$44.5 m||Glen Innes, NSW|
|Canadian Solar (Australia)||Longreach Solar Farm||15.0||$1.3 m||$28.7 m||Longreach, QLD|
|TOTAL||482.0||$91.7 m||$1,056.4 m|
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