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CEC gives thumbs-up for Victorian solar investment

10th Oct 2012

The Clean Energy Council (CEC) has given a big thumbs-up to the Victorian government's announcement that it has provided $10 million for solar power research in the state.

It marks the second phase of funding received by Solar Systems to test a new technology it is developing for a proposed 1.5-megawatt solar plant in Mildura.

The firm benefited from $5 million for a pilot site as part of stage one and will be in line for a final payout of $35 million for the third and final part of the project.

And the $50 million scheme has been lauded by the CEC as an "important step" for home-grown clean energy innovation.

The organisation's chief executive, David Green, said it was extremely positive news that the initiative was progressing at a steady pace.

"This technology uses large dishes to concentrate the sun's power and harness it using super-intensity solar cells, which are produced by the company at a plant in Melbourne's north," he explained.

And this wasn't the only development that received kind words from Green, with the state's recently announced Solar Atlas also enjoying keen praise.

The technology, which is based from NASA data and calculates the best sites in Victoria for potential solar energy projects, could be "the difference between make or break" for some firms, he claimed.

Available online, the platform is expected to help businesses isolate new areas where renewable energy investment could reap dividends.

"That's why a tool like this is so valuable," David continued, making it easier to plan big, important schemes.

"It also means rooftop solar companies will be able to give performance estimates to customers with a higher degree of accuracy."

According to stats produced by the Atlas, Victoria's solar resources are as good as a number of other destinations around the world - including Spain, where large-scale plants have already been built.

Posted by Mike Peacock

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