Duke Energy unveils new solar power plant in south-east Australia
The world’s biggest electricity producer has unveiled a massive new solar plant in a bid to help fuel the growing economy.
Key points:The Duke Energy Power & Solar facility will generate enough power to power the city of PerthThe plant is the largest solar farm in the worldThe project is one of the largest of its kind in Australia, but the largest in the countryThe $1.2 billion facility is the world’s largest solar power project with up to 8GW of capacityThe plant will generate electricity for more than 600,000 homes and businesses in the south-eastern city of Fremantle.
The facility, which is the biggest solar farm on the continent, is due to open in 2019.
It will also provide the first renewable energy to Perth since the city started a massive $1bn power purchase agreement with the state government in 2015.
The new plant will create nearly 20,000 jobs, with construction set to begin in 2018 and completed by 2021.
Duke Energy said it hoped the new facility would be a catalyst for more renewable energy projects across the region.
“We believe the solar industry will become the energy of the future,” Duke Energy Chief Executive Guy Suddendorf said.
“Solar will provide energy for more people than it ever has before, and in a cleaner and more secure world.”
Duke said the new plant would be located near a major city in the region, as well as in the Kimberley, and will be the first of its type in Australia.
“This will be one of Australia’s largest and most important solar projects, which will provide the energy for Perth to meet its ambitious 2030 target of having one million homes with energy from renewable sources,” Mr Suddefeld said.
Dale Renton, an energy analyst with energy consultancy Energy Research Partners, said the project was an opportunity to attract solar energy from Australia’s large community of small and medium-sized companies.
“Duke has had an enormous amount of success in its solar business and its ability to create a large and sustainable footprint and its low upfront cost,” Mr Renton said.
“It could potentially be a great catalyst for further investment in solar energy across the Australian solar industry.”
Mr Suddegern said the solar farm would create a massive amount of energy in a relatively short time, particularly in the case of the Perth project.
“It will be quite significant for the regional energy sector, and for the local communities,” Mr Denton said.
“We believe that if the energy can be sourced from renewable energy, and the price is low, and if the community gets the best return on investment, then it will be a very good decision.”
The Perth facility is expected to generate enough electricity to power more than 800,000 households and businesses.
“The facility is one to watch in terms of the amount of power that the plant will produce, and how much it will cost to build and operate it,” Mr Todhunter said.
The Perth project comes on the heels of the installation of the first phase of the project in Adelaide, which has produced more than 1GW of power.
Mr Todhun said the plant would provide a large scale, sustainable, and economically viable power supply to Perth.
“They are very exciting,” Mr Luttrell said.
Topics:energy-and-utilities,energy,energy-saving,energy-,business-economics-and/or-management,energysource-and‐consumption,environment,energy_and_utilities-and_environmental-competitiveness,energypolicy,perth-6000,afl,south-easter-6000More stories from Western Australia