Victorian Solar City gets green light: Garrett

By Staff Writer

Environment Minister Peter Garrett has hailed Australia’s fifth Solar City agreement as ‘further achievement in Australia’s comprehensive response to combat climate change’.

The Central Victoria Solar City is a $41 million project jointly driven by industry and supported by $14.9 million from the Australian Government. It covers one fifth of Victoria and involves 14 municipalities, industry, businesses and local communities.

"The agreement is the latest milestone in the Australian Government’s $94 million Solar Cities initiative which is integrating solar technologies, energy efficiency and large-scale community engagement to tackle climate change," Mr Garrett said.

"Together with the Australian Government, the consortium is aiming to discover local energy solutions to help achieve reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of more than 13,000 tonnes per year.

"It’s encouraging to see different communities in central Victoria working so well together to find better ways of generating and using energy to protect the environment and save money," he said.

The Central Victoria Solar City will see two large solar parks, each generating 300kW, built in Ballarat and Bendigo, enabling locals support solar power without having a photovoltaic system on their roof.

Orgaisations involved in the initiative include Bendigo Bank, Origin Energy, PowerCor, a number of local municipalities and the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance and its commercial arm, ZCO2e

For more information about the Solar Cities program click here.

(Update 15/12/2008 09.15) Renewable fund brought forward

The Federal Government announced today that its previously announced $500 million renewable energy fund will be delivered over the next 18 months rather than the six years, as previously announced.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made the announcement Mr Rudd at a solar farm at Windorah in Queensland’s far south-west, according to an ABC report.

Mr Rudd was quoted as saying: "We need to make this solar energy revolution, this renewable energy revolution real for households across Australia, real for communities across Australia and also real for businesses as well," he said.

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