Solar Flagships Round 1 – Winners and Losers

Australia’s Federal Government recently announced funding amounting to over three quarters of a billion dollars to go towards building two of the biggest solar farms in the world.
  
Solar Dawn and Moree Solar Farm have been selected as the two projects to benefit from funding under Round 1 of the Australian Government’s $1.5 billion Solar Flagships program.
  
The Solar Dawn consortium will receive $464 million to build a $1.2 billion 250 megawatt (MW) solar thermal gas hybrid power plant near Chinchilla. 
 
The $923 million Moree Solar Farm will be given $306.5 million to construct a massive solar panel based power station with a capacity of 150 MW – nearly twice the size of any PV based solar farm anywhere in the world today.
  
The two projects are expected to generate enough clean, renewable electricity to supply more than 115,000 homes each year. Construction will commence next year, with both installations expected to be fully operational by 2015.
  
One of the projects to miss out on government cash in this round was the 180 megawatt Mallee Solar Park, to be located in Mildura, which would also be solar panel based and generate enough electricity to power 60,000 homes. The consortium behind the project is hoping to be successful in securing funding in the second round of Solar Flagships.
  
Another project bypassed in this round was a 150 MW solar thermal parabolic trough power plant backed by the Solar Flair Alliance, which also would have been located near the Kogan Creek Power Station, close to Chinchilla in Queensland. 
  
The Australian Government had short listed eight projects for Round One Solar Flagships Program – 4 solar photovoltaic and 4 solar thermal power station proposals. The Government says it will continue to work with solar industry stakeholders as the design of Round 2 of the program is developed..