Victoria invests in solar power

The Victorian Government has committed $100 million to build a solar power station to be located in the State’s north-west.
The Victorian Government has backed a bid by energy company TRUenergy to develop a solar plant south of Mildura with the promise of $100 million from the State Government. The money was set aside last year and forms part of its Climate Change White Paper Action Plan, released in July this year.
Victorian premier, John Brumby said the investment was about capitilising on Victoria’s potential to generate renewable energy and forms a key part in the Government’s commitment to increase Victoria’s electricity supply from large-scale solar power.
“Under the Action Plan our Government has also committed to cut emissions by at least 20 percent by 2020 and increase the State’s power generated by solar to five percent,” said Premier Brumby.
Under the TruEnergy proposal a photovoltaic plant will be built on a 600 hectare site about 10 kilometres south of Mildura with construction to be undertaken by Bovis Lend Lease in four stages between 2012 and 2015.
“TruEnergy’s proposal to build the Mallee Solar Oark would create 200 jobs in construction,” said the Premier.
“It would also create 20 ongoing jobs and deliver 345 gigawatt hours of clean electricity each year and generate enough power to run 60000 homes each year.”
TruEnergy’s proposal was selected through an independent tender from a field of five applications, after it submitted a proposal under the Victorian Large Scale Solar Project, said Premier Brumby.
The Victorian Government has also announced the Solar Hubs Program to help deliver 8.6MW of community based solar power across Victoria by 2013.
About five million dollars was being made available in government grants to deliver up to 10 ‘solar energy hubs’, with average grant sizes between $250,000 and one million dollars.
The project was designed to help communities reduce their carbon footprint, as well as educate and inform the public about the potential for PV.
Applications were invited from either single applicants or from consortia. It is anticipated that partnerships will be formed between local councils, community groups, financial institutions or other interested parties to develop solar hub proposals.

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