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ARENA Approve $100 Million PV projects

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced a shortlist of projects approved to progress to the next stage of its $100-million large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) competitive round.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said project attracted strong interest the agency has selected 22 high merit projects to proceed to the full application stage with submissions due by 15 June 2016.

“The strong interest and high-quality applications demonstrate Australia is serious about deploying large-scale solar and capitalising on its abundant solar resources,” he said.

ARENA’s $100 million competitive round was announced in September and is designed to bring down costs through the deployment of 200 MW of large-scale solar PV.

Frischknecht said the funding round was well timed to drive innovation and reduce solar PV supply chain costs in Australia, where large-scale solar was still in its infancy.

“It is clear that large-scale solar has the potential to become one of the most competitive forms of energy in the world,” he said. “It is also clear that, despite our significant solar advantages, Australia has some work to do to catch up to countries with more mature large-scale solar industries – our grid-connected large-scale solar capacity will shortly reach 240 MW and is generated by only a handful of solar plants.”

ARENA said its support will ensure that large-scale solar projects will get off the ground and help move large-scale solar costs in Australia further down the cost curve, potentially to less than $100 per MWh by 2020.

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