Australia's largest solar farm opens in the ACT

Released 03/09/2014

Canberra is a step closer to meeting its 90% renewable energy target with the official opening of the FRV Royalla solar farm today by Minister for the Environment, Simon Corbell.

"At 20MW the Royalla solar farm has twice the capacity of the Greenough River project in Western Australia and is the largest PV farm operating in the Australia. It is also the first large-scale solar facility connected to the national electricity market," Mr Corbell said.

"It is expected to generate an average 37,000 MWh of renewable energy each year for the next 20 years and will meet the needs of 4,500 Canberra households.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, The Honourable Mr Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, and the Ambassador of Spain to Australia, His Excellency Mr Enrique Viguera, attended the opening of the solar farm developed by the Spanish company Fotowatio Renewable Ventures.

"The 83,000 panels that make up the Royalla solar farm are a tangible example of the ACT Government's strategy to meet our 90% renewable energy target by 2020 and fulfils our commitment to the overwhelming majority of Canberrans who support renewable energy technology and the Government's initiatives.

"This target will do the heavy lifting in achieving the emission cuts needed to reach the territory's legislated greenhouse gas reduction targets that require a 40 per cent cut on 1990 level emissions by 2020.

"The strong interest nationally and internationally in the ACT Government's renewable energy policies is growing Canberra's reputation as a centre for renewable energy innovation and investment. Already we have a number of international businesses looking to relocate jobs to Canberra and they are also partnering on research and development with local research institutions.

"This is a significant day for the territory and the nation - a direct outcome of the ACT Government's ambitious renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction policies."

The cost to Canberrans of achieving 90% renewable energy is expected to peak at about $4 per household per week in 2020 before declining.  This will be offset by savings of about $4 per household per week from energy efficiency programs put in place by the government.

- Statement ends -

Section: Simon Corbell, MLA | Media Releases

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