With as much potential for the development of solar energy that exists all around Australia it is no surprise that the nation has had big plans recently for the renewable energy type. Over the years, Australia has developed a fairly sizable solar energy program with substantial government support backing the developments. As evidence, recent news coming from New South Wales has been detailing that the government’s support will be used to create one of the largest solar energy farms the country has seen yet.
The new solar energy plant in New South Wales is expected to, upon completion, boast a capacity of around 100 megawatts and power approximately 20,000 homes in the area. The farm will be built by Infigen Energy, which has numerous wind energy projects around the globe and in Australia, and Suntech Australia in a joint effort that is expected to cost around $300 million (That figure represents the Australian dollar which currently holds a conversion of one dollar = ninety nine cents American) and will utilize the national fund for the development of solar power in order to cover $100 million on the final price tag. Once completed, the plant will supply the 100 megawatts of solar energy directly into the grid.
While the proposed solar energy plant in New South Wales is indeed impressive, it has come fairly late in the game compared to a similar plant being commissioned to the south in Victoria, Australia. Called the Mildura Solar Concentrator Power Station, the plant is expected to utilize photovoltaic solar panels to concentrate the sun’s energy in a way that will be capable of generating around 154 megawatts of solar energy. It is believed that once the plant is finished it will be capable of power over 45,000 homes in the Victoria area. The project, which was supposed to have finished its first phase last year, has a targeted completion date of 2013 and is expected to cost around $420 million.
Both the New South Wales and Victoria based plants hold promise in bolstering Australia’s steadily growing solar energy and renewable energy infrastructure. Once completed, the amount of power that they are able to supply will significantly drop the carbon emissions for the respective areas while providing clean, green energy to a combined total of almost 65,000 homes. As long as the Australian government continues to support the growth of the solar energy industry, the nation has a bright future in solar energy ahead of them.
Article by Richard Cooke, appearing courtesy Justmeans.