The Queensland Government has committed $100 million towards the construction of two large-scale commercial solar power stations, just one week after an international report found the state is one of the richest locations on earth in terms of solar energy potential.
This investment reinforces the State Governments support and commitment to clean energy leadership within Australia.
State energy minister Stephen Robertson said the funding would bring the two facilities under the umbrella of the Federal Government’s Solar Flagships Program, which provides funding for the building of large-scale solar farms.
“Round one supports one large solar thermal station and one solar photovoltaic (PV) station and currently all of the solar thermal proponents are proposing to build their station in Queensland,” Mr Robertson said.
AGL Energy would oversee construction of the 150 megawatt (MW) solar PV farm which would most likely be a multi-site facility in several states, maximising solar capture-and-storage potential, using thin-film solar panels.
Construction and infrastructure company Parsons Brinckerhoff will undertake the 150MW parabolic trough solar thermal plant at Kogan Creek near Chinchilla.
A recent report, commissioned by Queensland’s Bligh Government, in partnership with the William J. Clinton Foundation’s Climate Initiative, found Queensland’s solar resources are greater than that of regions such as Nevada in the United States and Granada in Spain, where utility-scale solar power generation is already being commercially deployed.
Stephen Robertson emphasised the importance of solar energy as part of the future of Queensland’s energy generation mix. “These plants will present a major stepping stone in providing solar generated power to Queensland, and Australian, households and industry through the national electricity grid.”
“This is another step forward in bringing to life a commercial scale solar power station in Queensland and our goal of delivering a sustainable energy future for the State.”