Twelve large-scale solar projects will share in $92 million in grants awarded recently by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
This is predicted to be the agency’s last round of funding if government budget cuts go ahead. Six of the projects are in Queensland, five in NSW and one in WA.
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht expects the funding to trigger almost $1 billion of commercial investment and boost regional Australian economies.
The cost of solar has fallen dramatically, with the average funding required for the projects just 19c per watt, down from 28c/watt in June and $1.60/watt for the first big solar projects in Australia.
With this funding, it is expected that significant large-scale solar technology deployment will occur over the next twelve months in Australia.
Monford Managing Director Declan White was supportive of the funding, saying, “Commercialisation of large-scale solar has the potential to lower construction costs, and build a more competitive, supportive community for renewable energy technologies.
“It’s likely that this funding will drastically accelerate builds of renewable energy infrastructure, where Australia has previously been lagging.
“With increased builds will come an increase in jobs, and opportunities for up-skilling, which will benefit our regional communities.”