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]