Australia: Victoria sets its sights on utility-scale solar projects as country sees first FITs for large projects introduced

Brumby commented: “This commitment to a sustainable future for Victoria should see the establishment of between five and 10 large solar plants across regional Victoria. As a result of this initiative, Victoria will have up to 25 per cent of its power coming from renewable energy by 2020.” He went on to say that the initiative will provide new economic opportunities in the state, helping to generate between AUD$1.5 and AUD$2 billion in new solar investment.

To achieve the state’s aims however, Brumby said increasing Victoria’s use of solar power to five per cent by 2020 would “require a number of investments above and beyond the Commonwealth’s Renewable Energy Target”. “This means not just clean, green energy for Victoria, but lower emissions for all of Australia – making us Australia’s solar state and further confirming Victoria as the country’s leader in tackling climate change,” he said. “In Victoria we have ambitious targets and we also have the right plans in place to deliver them, providing the most comprehensive program of support for small, medium and large solar technologies to turn to solar power.??“

The FIT will assist in the take up of solar power by paying large-scale facilities extra money for feeding the renewable power they generate back into the grid above what they would normally get on the energy market. To show we’re serious about the 2020 goal, we have set an interim target of generating 500 GWh of solar power by 2014. ?

?The solar initiatives announced will complete a three-pronged approach to meeting the solar target through driving investment in small, medium and large scale generation, coupled with established initiatives including:

  • The Brumby Labor Government’s AUD$50 million contribution towards the AUD$450 million large-scale solar project being delivered by Silex, as well as the Premium FITs for households; and?
  • The Brumby Labor Government’s contribution of AUD$100 million towards a Victorian Solar Flagships bid and the rollout of 10 projects from the AUD$5 million Solar Hubs program announced in the Jobs For The Future Economy: Green Jobs Action Plan.?