TRUenergy, an Australian electricity and gas supplier owned by Hong Kong’s CLP Holdings Ltd, paid $40 million for a 20 percent stake in Melbourne-based renewable energy company Solar Systems. They will invest $290 million to build a 154MW solar power station – the world’s largest solar power plant – with construction due to begin in northwest Victoria in 2009.
This will follow the completion of the demonstration plant currently being built at Bridgewater, near Bendigo. There will be 950 jobs during construction and 44 ongoing roles.
The project is set to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 396,000 tonnes a year and will produce most efficient photovoltaic modules in the world. The modules will be manufactured in Melbourne.
Solar System’s Melbourne manufacturing plant is capable of producing more than 50 megawatts of PV modules each year – the highest capacity in the southern hemisphere – with the possibility to expand in the future.
The Victorian Premier, John Brumby says:
“In the areas of solar, wind, wave and geothermal energy – as well as clean coal technology – Victoria has huge potential for investment and advancement, with room for new players to bring development proposals to the table…
The Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) scheme played a crucial role in attracting the Solar Systems project. The VRET facilitates a market in renewable energy by ensuring retailers buy 10 per cent of their power from renewable sources by 2016.”