Applications for up to $100 million in Brumby Government funding for a new solar power station in Victoria has been extended and will close on 24 May, 2010.
Energy and Resources Minister Peter Batchelor said he was pleased with the strong interest that has already been shown in this major renewable energy project, which would produce about 330GWh of electricity a year or enough power to run 50,000 homes.
“The Brumby Labor Government is taking action to change Victoria’s energy mix and drive the development of the state’s renewable energy industry,” Mr Batchelor said.
“We have extended the deadline for bids to give applicants the opportunity to secure matching Commonwealth funding, available under the $1.5 billion Solar Flagship Program.
“The Commonwealth has now advised that applicants for the Solar Flagships funding must first be shortlisted before submitting full proposals.
“We have aligned the Victorian Large Scale Solar program to ensure applicants can complete the Federal shortlisting process before submitting a Victorian application. Given the scale of the projects, funding from both the Commonwealth and the state is essential.”
The extended time is not expected to affect the completion date for the projects, with successful projects expected to be producing emission-free electricity by 2015.
“Large-scale solar is the most efficient and economical way of generating electricity from solar energy, which is why the Brumby Government is driving investment in this technology in Victoria,” Mr Batchelor said.
“We have committed more than $260 million to support advances in a range of sustainable energy technologies, from research and development to commercialisation of new technologies.
“This includes $6 million to advance ground-breaking research into affordable organic solar cells as an alternative to silicon-based cells in the generation of solar power."
Last year, more than 80 delegates eager to find out more about how to bid for the funding available under the Victorian Large-Scale Solar Project took part in an industry briefing in Melbourne.
Mr Batchelor said the response from industry so far, both here and overseas, had been very encouraging.
“Particularly because this project will provide a massive boost to large-scale solar development in Victoria, as well as driving investment and creating new jobs in regional Victoria, where the project is likely to be located," he said.
(Audio files are available at http://www.premier.vic.gov.au/newsroom/)