Australia is gearing up to switch on to big solar in a big way with the announcement of the finalists from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) latest round of funding.

A total of 22 finalists were selected from the 77 applicants, who all submitted proposals to build large-scale solar farms. The Clean Energy Council would like to congratulate our members who were named among the finalists, which include Infigen Energy, FRV, RATCH-Australia, Goldwind Australia, Canadian Solar, SF Suntech Australia and Origin Energy.

The full list of finalists is available on the ARENA website. While the projects are spread across the country, proposed plants in Queensland and New South Wales made up the lion’s share of the finalists.

Clean Energy Council Policy Manager Darren Gladman said Australia had among the best solar energy in the world, and it made sense for Australia to make better use of it to power our homes and businesses.

“Rooftop solar power has been incredibly popular, but we still only have a handful of genuinely large-scale solar power plants. The good news is that it gets cheaper with each project we build, and initiatives like this are essential to help it become affordable mainstream technology over the next decade,” Mr Gladman said.  

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the funding round was well timed to drive innovation and reduce solar PV supply chain costs in Australia, where large-scale solar was still in its infancy.

“It is clear that large-scale solar has the potential to become one of the most competitive forms of energy in the world,” Mr Frischknecht said.

Final applications are due by 15 June this year.