Aussie solar projects of 2.8 GW compete for support
Solar farm. Author: iamme ubeyou. License: CC0 1.0 Universal.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) said Tuesday its large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) competitive round, which seeks to back 200 MW in total, had attracted proposals for as much as 2,800 MW.
In September, the agency launched a AUD-100-million (USD 70.9m/EUR 66.5m) tender as part of a joint financing programme with the Clean Energy Finance Corp (CEFC). Together, they want to help lower project costs by giving AUD 350 million in grants and loans.
“We received 77 eligible expressions of interest (EoI) seeking approximately AUD 1.1 billion in ARENA funding for projects in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, totalling more than AUD 5.5 billion,” ARENA CEO, Ivor Frischknecht, summarised. The combined capacity of the projects is over 10 times more than that of Australia’s utility-scale PV plants in operation, which currently stands at just 240 MW, he added.
ARENA is to finish assessing the EOIs and expects the full application stage to start by December 16 and end on June 15, 2016. Once put into operation, the solar parks built under the scheme are estimated to generate enough electricity to power about 120,000 local households.