Solar Energy Projects Go Big In Australia

Australia is known for many things – poisonous creatures, unkind terrain – but soon it will become known as a solar energy leader with the completion of two of the largest solar projects of their kind in the world. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson recently announced they will provide funding for these two projects in the country.

The projects will be located at Chinchilla in Queensland (Solar Dawn) and Moree in New South Wales (Moree Solar Farm). These two projects were selected as the successful consortium the plants under Round 1 of the Australian government’s $1.5 billion AUD Solar Flagships program. On top of the federal funding, the Gillard Labor Government will contribute $464 million for the project in Chinchilla and $306.5 million towards the project in Moree.

image via Solar Dawn

The Solar Dawn project will generate 250 MW of solar thermal gas energy, the largest of its kind in the world and also reportedly the most environmentally responsible; 85 percent of the energy from Solar Dawn will be emission free. Moree Solar Farm will be a 150 MW photovoltaic power plant. Together, the two plants will provide energy for around 115,000 homes annually and create around 600 jobs.

Both projects have a completion date of 2015 and will be directly funded by the Australian government under the $5 billion Clean Energy Initiative.