Guest Post by Simon Corbell: Big Solar arrives in Canberra


On Wednesday 5th September, I announced that Canberra will see the development of the largest solar power plant to be built in Australia to date.

Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), a global solar developer based in Spain, will deliver the Royalla 1 20MW solar farm on a rural property in Tuggeranong, just off the Monaro Highway near Royalla.

The development has been made possible due to the ACT Labor Governments large scale renewable energy generation feed in tariff law.   This law allows the ACT to develop up to 210 MW of renewable generation using a reverse auction process.   This allows us to get the largest amount of renewable energy at the cheapest price for consumers.

This has certainly been confirmed with the announcement today.  ACT households will pay only 25 cents a week or $13 a year as a result of the large-scale feed in tariff for Royalla 1.  This will reduce to just 19 cents a week, or just $9.50 a year, by 2020 as the cost of wholesale electricity continues to rise.   The process shows large-scale solar is affordable and efficient.

Royalla 1 is expected to create 50 jobs during construction and will help our city achieve its greenhouse gas reduction targets by reducing emissions by over 500,000 tonnes in the next 20 years.   The farm will provide enough power to supply nearly 4,500 Canberra homes.

The project will commence construction in 2013 and is expected to be operational in early 2014.

This project confirms Canberra is leading Australia in making the shift to a sustainable future, I am proud it is a Labor Government which is showing the way.