FEDERAL Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce has welcomed the news that Goldwind Australia Pty Ltd’s White Rock Solar Farm, near Glen Innes has been nominated on a short-list of projects invited to progress to the next stage of a $100 million large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) competitive round of funding conducted by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
Mr Joyce said the shortlist had been compiled after ARENA received 77 eligible Expressions of Interest and then had selected the 22 high merit projects to proceed to the full application stage, with submissions due by 15 June 2016.
“The short-listed proposals were chosen from a very strong field demonstrating Australia is ready to invest in utility-scale renewable energy options suited to the 21st century,” he said.
Mr Joyce said although Australia leads the world in rooftop solar PV and costs have dropped significantly in recent years, large-scale solar in Australia is lagging behind with higher supply chain costs than other comparable countries and only 240 megawatts (MW) total large-scale generation capacity.
He said ARENA’s large-scale solar competitive round is designed to support the development of approximately 200 MW of large-scale solar capacity and reduce costs.
“The White Rock Solar Farm is expected to generate 20 MW, which would be part of an additional 200 MW that would significantly boost Australia’s large-scale capacity.
“With the combined 440 MW total of large-scale solar able to generate up to 860,000 MWh of electricity each year, it is enough to power 120,000 average Australian homes,” he said.
The short-listed projects set to progress to the next stage of ARENA’s funding round have a total capacity of 766 MW.