According to the London based company BP Plc that is competing for Australian government financial support for its solar project in New South Wales its project will cost over A$600 million. The BP’s project is planned to produce 150MW and create 300 jobs in construction. The company’s spokesman in Australia Jamie Jardine has said that BP must send its plan to the Australian government by mid-December.
The BP’s project is one of the four solar projects that remain in the competition for A$1.5 billion from the Solar Flagship program. The other three companies which also hope to be selected for the funding are AGL Energy Ltd., TRUenergy Holdings Pty Ltd., and Suntech Power Holding Co. and Infigen Energy that offered a joint project. The Chinese solar-panel manufacturer and wind power developer with headquarter in Sydney, respectively, submitted a project that foresees four solar plants that are estimated to cost A$780 million. Infigen Energy also considers a solar project in the state of Victoria.
The BP’s spokesman said that the energy generated from solar power will remain considerably more expensive than energy from conventional energy sources such as fossil fuels until the introduction of prices on carbon emissions. He also noted that until then the government financial support such as Solar Flagship program is crucial for renewable energy projects.
The Australian government has established a committee to consider the introduction of the price on carbon including the so-called emission trading, also known as cap-and-trade system. About 80% of country’s electricity is generated from coal.
Which of the four remaining companies will receive the Solar Flagship financial support will be known in the first half of 2011. At the same time, the Australian government will also select one of four solar projects that will produce stream from solar energy.