A $66.5 million grant from the Gillard Labor Government will fund world-leading research to help build one of the largest solar power plants in the world in north-west New South Wales - creating jobs, strengthening industry-research partnerships and securing Australia’s clean energy future.
Announcing the Education Investment Fund (EIF) grant, Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr said it will underpin the Moree Solar farm, which will power around 45,000 homes, perform cutting-edge research and accelerate the development of the solar industry in Australia.
CSIRO will lead a consortium of researchers from the University of New South Wales, the University of Newcastle and Hunter TAFE to conduct research at the proposed Moree Solar farm - a $925 million project led by BP Solar, Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) and Pacific Hydro.
The Moree Solar Farm proposal is for a 150-megawatt photovoltaic power plant for outer Moree. Twice the size of any photovoltaic power plant operating in the world today, it is estimated that the project will create around 300-400 jobs during the construction phase.
Preliminary research will begin this year, with completion and commissioning of the plant expected by the end of 2015.