Australia: Belectric to build 5 MW plant

22. January 2013 | Applications & Installations, Markets & Trends | By:  Jonathan Gifford

German EPC and project developer Belectric has announced its move into the Australian utility scale market, with an agreement to construct a 5 MW power plant in the north west of the state Victoria. The location of Mildura had previously been selected for a large photovoltaic project which has not gone ahead.

The city center in Mildura.

The Australian regional city of Mildura has attracted its first utility scale photovoltaic installation.

Belectric Australia has announced that it has received planning permission for its first large-scale power plant in the country. The project is being developed in collaboration with Clean Technology Partners.

"The planning permit is the first step toward implementing further solar projects in Australia," said the Managing Director of Belectric Australia, Nir Dekel, in a statement announcing the project. "We thank the Mildura Council for its active cooperation and also Clean Technology Partners who have successfully engaged with the network operator for permission to connect."

In the statement Clean Technology Partners indicated that it is interested in developing future projects with Belectric. "Australia offers excellent conditions for photovoltaic energy production and is one of the growth markets of the future. Together with Belectric we see great potential for the realization of further power plants," said Lachlan Bateman, Managing Director of Clean Technology Partners. Belectric and Clean Technology Partners have signed a framework agreement for future projects.

Mildura’s solar push

The city of Mildura has been courting solar development for some time. It was initially selected as one of the sites for the Solar Flagships program, before the project lost its way. The new clean energy investment agency in Australia ARENA has confirmed that it will also not support the Solar Dawn project, as it does not offer significant points of difference to the 159 MW AGL-First Solar proposal, which does have funding support, for development near Broken Hill and Nyngan in NSW.

Former photovoltaic manufacturer Silex Solar Systems has received funding to develop a trial 2 MW CSP plant in Mildura, and hopes to expand this to a 100 MW CSP plant in the future.

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