Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced plans to buid a 1GW solar power plant in Australia, which would make it the largest solar-electricity plant in the world surpassing the current record holder in California. Details about the project will be released soon and successful bidders will be named in the first half of 2010. The project is expected to cost A$1.4 billion (US$1.05 billion) and will represent a major investment in solar power, which the Prime Minister hopes will help propel the country into a leadership role in solar energy. This is a big step, but only one of many towards Australia’s stated goal of obtaining 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
“The government plans to invest with industry in the biggest solar generation plant in the world, three times the size of the world’s current biggest, which is in California,” Rudd said.
“Why are we doing this? We are doing it in order to support a clean energy future for Australia, we’re doing it to boost economic activity now and we’re doing it also to provide jobs and much needed opportunities for business as well.”
The hope is that this first project will eventually lead to a growing network of solar-powered stations across the country.
Rudd also said Australia would become a full member of the International Renewable Energy Agency, which will have its first global meeting in June.
The reports I have seen do not clarify how the target cost of around US$1 per installed watt will be achieved or if this is planned to be a solar-thermal-electric or a solar-photovoltaic plant. As details become more clear I will update this post.
© 2009, Chris de Morsella. All rights reserved. Do not republish.