Australia Has Mega Solar Power Plant Project in the Works

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff November 28, 2006

Australian officials say that they intend to build the world’s largest solar power plant. With warnings of blackouts within five years unless it can increase electricity generation, and extended severe drought eating into economic growth and water availability, the Australian government has begun very active support for alternative forms of energy.

Demand for power in Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales, is predicted to outstrip supply by 2010 or 2011. The smaller states of Victoria, South Australia and Queensland could experience power blackouts much earlier, starting from 2008, said the National Electricity Market Management Company.

The new solar concentrator, with a capacity of 154 megawatts, would be built in Victoria state, and would reach full capacity by 2013, according to Peter Costello,

“The project aims to build the biggest photovoltaic project in the world and this is by using mirrors which concentrate the sun’s rays on a power plant,” Costello said. “It has no emissions and the power that can come from this plant can go onto the national grid.”