Silex abandons 100-MW CPV project in Australia

(SeeNews) - Aug 18, 2014 - Aussie firm Silex Systems Ltd (ASX:SLX) scrapped a 100-MW concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) project in Victoria state due to low wholesale power prices and the uncertain future of Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET).

In a statement today, the company said its unit Solar Systems Pty Ltd and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) have agreed to end work on the Mildura solar project. They have terminated the funding deed for AUD 75 million (USD 70m/EUR 52m) of conditional project support from ARENA. Silex said it would also terminate the AUD 35 million in conditional funding for the project from the Victorian government.

In the summer of 2013, Silex completed the 1.5-MW Mildura demonstration CPV plant in the state of Victoria using its CPV "Dense Array" dish technology. The 100-MW plant was planned as the next stage of the project. Now, Solar Systems is evaluating options to develop a smaller power plant at the site. It will still rely on ARENA and the Victorian government for financial support.

Silex chief executive Michael Goldsworthy also said the company will continue to assess deployment of its "Dense Array" dish technology in offshore markets.

The 100-MW Mildura CPV project is one of several green projects threatened by the ongoing review of the RET. Australia aims to source 20% of its total power from renewables by 2020 under the target, but the percentage has been questioned ever since the new government picked global warming skeptic Dick Warburton to review the scheme. Today The Guardian reported that Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott is favouring a plan under which the RET is cancelled for all new projects.

(AUD 1 = USD 0.932/EUR 0.696)

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Browse all articles from Tsvetomira Tsanova

Tsvet has been following the development of the global renewable energy industry for almost nine years. She's got a soft spot for emerging markets.

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