Federal Govt grants $92 million in solar grants

Solar panel array under blue sky (chinese solar)
Image: Shutterstock

Solar energy is set to triple in production, following approval of grants for 12 photovoltaic plants by the Australian Government this week.

The 12 photovoltaic plants are part of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) large-scale solar grants project and could be constructed in Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia over the next 18 months.

ARENA CEO Ivo Frischknect announced the grants saying Australia’s solar industry was coming of age.

“Six plants in Queensland, five plants in New South Wales and one plant in Western Australia are slated for funding, in a major milestone that’s expected to triple Australia’s large-scale solar capacity from 240 MW to 720 MW,” he said.

“They will provide enough energy to power 150,000 average Australian homes and deliver one-tenth of the new capacity required to meet Australia’s 2020 renewable energy target.

“Regional economies will benefit massively from the growing big solar industry, with 2300 direct jobs and thousands more indirect jobs expected to be created by this round.”

Mr Frischknect said for every $1 provided in a grant by ARENA, $10 would be provided by other sources, including commercial investment.

Origin Energy Markets received $20 million from ARENA to support a $217 million project in Dalby in South-East Queensland.

CEO Frank Calabria said Origin was delighted to be offered the grant, which would help further large-scale solar production across Australia.

“Origin is looking to develop a portfolio of potential large-scale solar sites and the construction of the Darling Downs Solar Farm may help to unlock these future developments and further our progress towards being Australia’s number one renewable energy provider,” he said.

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