The  Energy Minister Stephen Robertson said that   “Queensland could become home to one of the world’s largest solar power stations”. Mr Robertson on Wednesday announced $100 million to go towards two projects that receive funding under the federal government’s Solar Flagships program.

This  program involves the construction of large-scale solar power plants in Australia and four Queensland projects have been shortlisted. Round one includes one large solar thermal station and one solar photovoltaic station.

Those in the running are:

  1.  An AGL Energy proposal for a multi-site project in Queensland, Western Australia, NSW and SA using solar photovoltaic technology;
  2. A Parsons Brinckerhoff proposal for a solar thermal plant at Kogan Creek, near Chinchilla;
  3. A Wind Prospect CWP proposal for a solar thermal plant at Kogan Creek; and
  4.  A Transfield proposal for a solar thermal plant at Collinsville, west of Proserpine.

Mr Robertson said the funding would help with the development of the projects and was contingent on two Queensland plans being chosen, reducing it if only one was successful and he also said that  “These plants will present a major stepping stone in providing solar-generated power to Queensland and Australian households and industry through the national electricity grid.”

The federal government will choose successful candidates in the first half of next year, with projects possibly coming on line in 2015, he said. A report released by the minister last week showed Queensland had some of the world’s best solar sites. Mr Robertson told reporters  that  ”Queensland is committed to doubling solar energy capacity within the next five years”.

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