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ACT reveals solar power ambitions

29th Feb 2012

Plans to make the Australian Capital Territory a leader in solar power have moved a step closer after the state hosted a briefing on a possible large-scale solar auction.

Nearly 150 representatives attended the meeting from all over Australia, with many of them showing a strong interest in making Canberra a leader in renewable technology.

The minister for environment and sustainable development, Simon Corbell, explained that the meeting was an important opportunity for the ACT's government to share the information it has so far.

Furthermore, it was able to answer questions on the mechanics of a reverse auction, which has already begun.

Mr Corbell highlighted: "The ACT government is committed to establishing large-scale renewable energy generation in the ACT as a means to meet the ACT's ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets and to create a clean energy economy for the Territory."

The solar auction has seen the ACT government issue a request for proposals to support the development of up to 40 megawatts of solar power capacity in the state.

Applicants will be given request for proposal documents when they have lodged their interest, alongside addenda and other information crucial to the auction.

It is hoped that the auction will have a significant impact on the ACT's greenhouse gas reduction targets, as well as provide a much needed boost to the area's clean energy industry.

In addition, the program should provide financial security for developers while lowering the cost of solar energy to encourage greater uptake throughout the region.

Mr Corbell highlighted that both during and after the recent meeting, the government has been praised for its initiative with the project and has received great feedback from interested parties.

The ACT is not the only state to be moving towards a low-carbon future, as Queensland recently launched the latest version of its Renewable Energy Plan.

Energy minister Stephen Robertson noted that the plan should lead to around $8.9 billion in renewable energy investment in the state by 2020, as well as the delivery of 9,000 gigawatt hours of clean power generation.

The renewed document should also help deliver the original goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 40 million tonnes while creating 3,500 green jobs.

Mr Robertson added: "The plan also establishes Queensland's case as a major competitor for new renewable energy investment, projects and industry growth in Australia."


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