Australia Introduces Plan To Build World’s Largest Solar Plant

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The Australian government plans to build the world’s largest solar power station, a 1,000-megawatt plant that would generate three times as much electricity as the world’s largest solar electric plant, now located in California, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced.

Preliminary plans call for the construction of four individual plants — two solar thermal plants that use mirrors to focus the sun’s heat on steam-generating pipes or towers and two plants that use photovoltaic cells. Over all, the proposed facility would cost about U.S. $1 billion, Rudd said, and would generate electricity equivalent to a large coal-fired power plant.

Calling solar energy “Australia’s biggest natural resource,” the prime minister said he hopes the plants will be the first in a network of solar installations across Australia, making the nation a global leader in solar power. Construction plans will be developed over the next six months and the government hopes to open the new solar power power station by 2015.

This article originally appeared on Yale Environment 360 at http://e360.yale.edu

[photo: flickr/Richard Gifford]

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2 Comments

  1. Australia should really be at the top of the table when it comes to solar power so it’s good to see them acting on all that potential. I read that they are looking for solar thermal energy to be their number one energy source by 2050.

  2. As scientific evidence is being continually being announced of ever increasing rises in global temperature and increasing growth of Green-House-Gases. Voters are realising that this is a very real and serious problem. Voters are also realising that the biggest barrier are the politicians and their lack of action.

    Until governments allocate resources to more ambitious renewable energy projects, voters will continue to move their vote to the environment.

    The Australian Government needs to dramatically increase the “solar flagship” program and have at least 20 gigawatts of plants over 10 years (instead of one gigawatt), and allocate a similar amount of resources to a wind energy program.

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