ACT Labor Government delivers big solar for Canberra

Released 05/09/2012

Canberra today set an Australian benchmark for low-cost large-scale solar generation with the announcement by Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Simon Corbell MLA that Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) will build Royalla 1– a 20MW solar power facility in the District of Tuggeranong.

Mr Corbell announced the outcome of the ACT Government's fast-track stream of the ACT large-scale solar reverse auction by confirming that Royalla 1 will become the largest solar power facility built in Australia to date.

"This is an important day for Canberra, and I am proud that the ACT Labor Government is delivering on its promise to make Canberra, Australia's solar capital," Mr Corbell said.

"This reverse auction process has delivered a solar facility that will produce enough renewable electricity to power approximately 4,400 Canberra homes at a cost of 25c per week per household or $13 per year.

"Importantly, we expect this already low cost to reduce further as the wholesale price of electricity rises, and for the cost per household to reduce to approximately $9.50 per year by 2020," he said.

With a Feed-in Tariff rate of $186 per megawatt-hour (18.6c/kilowatt-hour), the successful auction proposal submitted by FRV is highly competitive and will result in the ACT hosting the largest solar farm in Australia by 2014.

Subject to planning approvals and environmental clearances, FRV will build a 20 megawatt fixed plate photovoltaic (PV) solar plant in the district of Tuggeranong, about 25km south of the Canberra CBD on the Monaro Highway in the vicinity of Royalla. The generator will occupy about 50 hectares and is comprised of approximately 83,000 photovoltaic panels.

Key details of the ACT's first Big Solar project are:

  • around 50 jobs during construction;
  • the production of 37,000 megawatt-hours of renewable energy each year, which is enough to power approximately 4,400 Canberra homes; and
  • an approximate reduction of 560,000 tonnes of carbon emissions over the 20 year life of the project.

"Today's announcement marks the completion of the first stage of the Labor Government's Big Solar plans, with the second general stream of the reverse-auction process to be completed in March 2013 delivering another 20MW of solar generating capacity," Mr Corbell said.

"The quality and price of FRV's winning bid shows how successful this auction process can be in delivering renewable energy investment," he said.

FRV is one of the largest solar power companies in the world, with 230 megawatts of solar generating capacity under management globally.

Mr Corbell said an important feature of the solar auction was the Government's commitment to surrender renewable energy certificates associated with the Royalla1plant.

"This will ensure that the ACT is able to claim the emissions reductions achieved through the operation of Royalla 1.  It will also mean this abatement is considered to be additional to national pollution caps and cannot be offset by increases in emissions elsewhere," Mr Corbell said.

"This project is delivering on the ACT Labor Government's vision to see Canberra as Australia's solar capital, and begins the transition from fossil fuel energy sources to cleaner renewable energies like solar.

"The delivery of this nation leading project sets the scene for the ACT to start meeting its greenhouse gas reduction targets of 40% by 2020 and to become a carbon neutral city in 2060," he concluded.  


- Statement ends -

Section: Simon Corbell, MLA | Media Releases

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