2007-11-17

Solar Power Station heading for the Hunter Valley

This is interesting news:
Australian company CBD Energy has announced plans to build a $360 million solar farm and manufacturing plant in the New South Wales Hunter Valley.

CBD Energy says the first stage of the project will cost $60 million. It involves the construction of a five-megawatt solar farm on land near Raymond Terrace, north of Newcastle, which it hopes to complete by June next year.

Output will eventually be expanded to 30 megawatts, providing enough green electricity for more than 30,000 homes.

CBD executive chairman Gerry McGowan says the next stage will be building a factory to make a revolutionary new type of thin-film solar panel.

"We'll manufacture [it] for a tenth of the cost of conventional PV technology," he said.

The federal Coalition has promised to contribute $20 million to the first stage of the project, if it is re-elected.
This seems quite legit, though I think the June 2008 deadline is not going to be met.

It's a good start - but 30MW is not very big. The Coal-fired power stations along Lake Macquarie, Munmorah, Vales Point and Eraring, produce a big slice of NSW's power supply and, combined, produce around 4500MW. CBD will have to build at least 100 of these Solar Farms to make a significant dent in the state's electricity production.

So let's start now.

1 comment:

Dave Lankshear said...

Tim Flannery's book "The Weather Makers" informs us of a study that confirms that lung-cancer rates in the Hunter are 3 times the national average due to all the coal-nasties.

One 4 million tons of coal per year power plant = 4 tons of uranium and 16 tons of highly radioactive thorium dispersed into the environment each year.

Dr Karl on the oil thing, about halfway through.