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Canberra set to host solar farm

FRV wins contract for 20 MW plant

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Spanish renewables firm FRV has won a “reverse auction” for a feed-in tariff entitlement that will support the construction of a 20 MW solar farm for the Australian Capital Territory.

The 83,000-panel, 50 hectare build will power equivalent to supplying 4,500 of Canberra’s households, the company says.

To be built at Royalla, NSW, 23 Km south of the Canberra CBD, the facility is due to come online in 2014.

The ACT established the reverse auction – in which participants bid down the feed-in tariff they would accept – to promote its renewable energy use. FRV took the contract with a feed-in tariff of $AU186 per megawatt-hour, which is fixed – with no CPI adjustments – for 20 years.

The ACT government says there were initially 49 proposals submitted, which were winnowed down to a short-list of 10.

The government plans further auctions between now and 2016. It has plans for a maximum of 210 MW under the scheme, with another 20 MW to be auctioned next year.

The territory’s environment minister Simon Corbell claims that the plan will allow Canberra to “take credit for over half a million tonnes of greenhouse gas abatement”. ®

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