Australia is making huge plans to expand their solar energy production. The energy company Simec Zen announced their intention to invest one billion dollars in various renewable energy projects, including solar, wind and hydropower.
One of the proposed solar projects, the Cultana Solar Farm, will be 280 Megawatts in size. Its location in Southern Australia is ideal thanks to its sunny climate and is expected to generate 600 Gigawatt-hours of energy annually.
Australia has an enormous potential for solar energy production as it receives an average of 58 million picojoules of solar radiation per year, about 10,000 times larger than its total energy consumption. However, this potential is widely untapped, as solar only accounts for 0.1% of the country’s total energy consumption.
Australian energy prices have seen drastic increases recently, with household prices rising by almost 60% between 2003-2013. The proposed projects aim to decrease prices and increase accessibility for Australians throughout the country.
Sanjeev Gupta, the chairman of the GFG Alliance, one of the main companies involved in the project, says that the project is a huge step for Australia. He notes that “today’s event is symbolic of our desire to develop and invest in new-generation energy assets that will bring down Australia’s electricity prices to competitive levels again, as well as our commitment to local and regional Australia”.
Construction of the solar farm is expected to begin in early 2019.