Solar panel installations made at Greenough River Solar Farm18th Apr 2012
Billed as the largest solar power project in Australia, the installation of solar panels is finally getting underway at Greenough River Solar Farm.
Never heard of it? That's not surprising…so allow us to explain.
Greenough River Solar Farm is a ten-megawatt solar farm that is being created by joint venture partners Verve Energy and GE Energy Financial Services.
Costing around $50 million, the project is expected to be up and running by the middle of the year and could displace as much as 25,000 tonnes a year of greenhouse gas emissions.
The site is located around 50 kilometres south-east of Geraldton in 80 hectares of land that have been cleared especially for the plant to be built on.
You might be asking yourself why this system is such a big deal - aren't people installing solar panels all the time?
Well this project will help Western Australia move away from wind farms, which are currently its primary way of generating renewable electricity.
The state's share of the renewable energy target will also be boosted - the government hopes that 20 per cent of Australia's electricity will come from clean sources by 2020.
And as if this isn't enough, Western Australia believes it will take steps to becoming a leader in solar electricity generation.
Need we go on?
Responding to construction getting underway, energy minister Peter Collier said that other projects could spring up across the country as a result of Greenough River Solar Farm.
"The demonstration of this proven technology in WA on a commercial scale should encourage the development of larger projects and reduce renewable energy costs in the medium to long term," he commented.
It could be some time before we see solar plants cropping up all over the country, but Greenough River Solar Farm has all the ingredients for success.
Posted by Mike Peacock