Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson today announced the record funding to support construction of the solar projects at Chinchilla in Queensland and Moree in New South Wales. The projects were selected in accordance with the recommendations of the independent Solar Flagships Council.
Solar Dawn and Moree Solar Farm have been selected as the two successful consortiums to build the power plants under Round 1 of the Australian Governments $1.5 billion Solar Flagships program.
The Gillard Labor Government will contribute $464 million for the Solar Dawn project in Chinchilla worth an estimated $1.2 billion and $306.5 million towards the BP project in Moree worth an estimated $923 million.
Solar Dawn is a proposed 250 megawatt solar thermal gas hybrid power plant to be built near Chinchilla in South West Queensland by a consortium including AREVA Solar, CS Energy and Wind Prospect CWP. While Solar Dawn is designed as a standalone solar thermal power plant using Areva’s Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector (CLFR) technology, the site will have a gas boiler system to produce power without the solar field.
The Moree Solar Farm, being developed by BP Solar together with its consortium partners Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) and Pacific Hydro will build a 150 MW single axis tracking photovoltaic power plant near Moree.
This solar flagship program news comes on top of the funding for the Kogan Creek Solar Boost project in April this year. CS Energy will spend $104 million installing solar panels at the Kogan Creek coal-fired power station near Dalby, north-west of Brisbane. Apparently the CS solar installation was the best way to correct for the incorrect sizing of the original boiler system for the coal power plant. The solar field once operational will pre-heat the feed water allowing the power plant to produce maximum power on the hotter days correcting the design fault.
Funding for the solar boost project includes a $70 million contribution from CS Energy and a contribution of more than $34 million from the Australian Government’s Renewable Energy Demonstration Program. CS Energy has received support from the Queensland Government through a contribution of $35.4 million to CS Energy’s Carbon Reduction Program, which has enabled the company to direct funds to the Kogan Creek Solar Boost Project.