The Greenough River Solar project in Western Australia was turned on this month, Australia’s largest solar farm developed through a joint venture of the state owned Verve Energy and General Electric. With Australia committed to getting 20% of its power through renewable sources by 2020, this 10 megawatt station is expected to generate enough power for 3000 homes.
The plant is expected to grow to a 40 megawatt capacity in the future. Whilst a small step in the renewable target of 20% by 2020, many opponents have called to cut the mandatory targets. This has been answered with calls that such a move would destroy the renewable industry which would cease to operate if there is not the business case for investment in the solar and wind energy industries.
These discussions have came about also in light of large scale projects such as the recently funded Large-Scale Solar Power Generation Demonstration Project (LSPGD) near Mildura, Victoria; where the Victorian coalition government has announced a $10 million grant for stage two of the project. Stage two will see an additional two-megawatts capacity added to the plant, and an additional plant built. This will provide the groundwork for the 100-megawatt capacity at stage 3 of the project. The plant will use triple junction solar cells to take advantage of the sun throughout different stages of the day.