The companies were informed back in May that they had been short listed for Federal funding under the countrys Solar Flagships program. A final decision is expected to be made in the first half of next year.
Björn Emde, PR manager at Suntech told pv magazine: "The Suntech-Infigen partnership has been selected as a finalist for the first Solar Flagships program. Our joint proposal is for the development of three solar power plants in New South Wales (NSW) or Victoria, with a combined capacity up to 195 MWs, that would feature advanced solar cell technology that Suntech developed in collaboration with the University of New South Wales."
While Suntech says the companies are looking at developing three solar projects, Sydney-based Infigens website suggests they are currently investigating five sites across NSW and Victoria. These are:
- Manildra, NSW: According to Infigen, the proposed solar farm will occupy an area of approximately 60 hectares at Yarran and Ainsdale, Molong Manildra Road, Manildra, and will have a generating capacity of 30 – 50 MWs.
- Bungendore, NSW: Here, the company said that the proposed solar farm will occupy an area of around 60 hectares at the Capital Wind Farm Substation. It is again expected to have a generating capacity of 30 – 50 MWs.
- Moree, NSW: This project, continues Infigen, is expected to occupy an area of approximately 120 hectares at Weebollabolla, Moree Terry Hie Hie Road, Moree, and will have a generating capacity of between 30 and 100 MWs.
- Nyngan, NSW: The company said this proposed solar farm will occupy an area of roughly 120 hectares at East Nyngan Road and Boundary Street East, Nyngan, and will have a generating capacity of 30 – 100 MWs.
- Mildura, VIC: There is currently no information about this proposed project.
As Professor Vassilios G. Agelidis, director of the UNSWs Center for Energy Research and Policy Analysis told pv magazine back in August, under the countrys Solar Flagships program, AUD$1.6 billion has been set aside: currently, four companies are bidding against each other in the hope of being able to install the countrys first 150-megawatt (MW) solar PV farm. The program also involves a large solar thermal plant of up to 200 MW and around AUD$200 million will be invested into solar energy research infrastructure.