Mildura solar plant officially unveiled

23rd Jul 2013

The Victorian energy minister has officially opened the Mildura power plant, the largest facility of its kind in Australia.

Nicholas Kotsiras unveiled the completed project last week (July 17), with the structure set to power around 500 homes initially.

The 1.5-megawatt plant has 40 concentrating photovoltaic dishes and is the next phase in a wider initiative to enhance commercial solar potential in the state.

The Victorian government invested $10 million into this stage of the project, having already spent $5 million on an initial 600-kilowatt pilot plant at Bridgewater.

Using innovative technology from Solar Systems, the plant tracks the sun through mirrors in a dish, which redirect sunlight onto super-efficient solar receivers.

Money for the schemes has come from the government's flagship Energy Technology Innovation Strategy, a framework for boosting the development of renewable and low emissions projects.

And that's not all. Kotsiras said more cash will be made available for further developments if the Mildura plant meets certain performance indicators.

"This would see the development of a large scale solar plant in Mildura that could potentially power more than 35,000 households," he stated.

"By investing in the commercialisation of energy technologies the coalition government is not only driving new energy sources but we are helping create skilled local employment."

Kotsiras highlighted the importance of pursuing renewable energy technology and the impact it will have on households and businesses across Victoria.

Not only this, he was quick to point out the benefits of Mildura as a location for further solar power development and the government's intent on maximising these opportunities.

"Mildura is the perfect place for major solar developments and the coalition government wants to see this potential realised so the local community can benefit from the jobs and investment and all Victorians can benefit from new clean energy sources," he explained.

Posted by Mike Peacock

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