Australia: $40.7 million grant secured for PV research15. August 2012 | Markets & Trends, Research & Development, Storage & smart grids | By: Becky Beetz
Hailed as "historic", the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and the University of Queensland have been awarded a AU$40.7 million grant to establish two photovoltaic research programs.
In a statement released by UNSW, it was said that part of the grant, issued by Australia’s Education Investment Fund under its Research Infrastructure Program, will go towards building a Power Systems Interface Research Facility at the Tyree Energy Technologies Building. The aim is to investigate how photovoltaics can be successfully integrated into the country’s electricity grid.
The two photovoltaic projects worth 159 MW, recently announced by First Solar and AGL Energy Limited, will be used as a backdrop for the research projects. Under the Solar Flagships Program, the thin film module manufacturer will design, construct and maintain the utility-scale plants – worth 106 and 53 MW, respectively – for AGL.
"This grant is the most significant and historically largest single investment to build a piece of power system interface research infrastructure in Australia," stated Professor Vassilios Agelidis, director of the Australian Energy Research Institute at UNSW. "It will deliver research skills and innovation towards our energy future."
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