The cost of building Australian large-scale solar projects is falling quickly, helped along by funding support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, or ARENA.

The latest competitive funding round for large-scale solar PV closed last week, with ARENA revealing that the cost of large-scale solar has continued to decline rapidly. Twenty eligible projects were submitted worth a total of $1.6 billion.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said ARENA was playing a vital role in making large-scale solar PV more competitive by increasing confidence and building supply chains.

“Our funding round has already reduced costs through competitive tension and encouraged a portfolio of new Australian solar plants to proceed to more advanced stages of planning and development,” Mr Frischknecht said.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton welcomed ARENA’s continued support for the large-scale solar sector, and the major progress it has delivered in the large-scale solar sector in Australia.

“Australia’s three largest solar power plants, Nyngan, Broken Hill and Moree, all received support from ARENA, and are now making a significant contribution to our power needs,” Mr Thornton said.

“It’s great to see that in the short time since these projects were built, the cost of building large-scale solar farms has fallen significantly – due in no small part to ARENA’s support.

“Despite the good news that costs are falling, the large-scale solar sector still faces some material hurdles in getting projects off the ground, including grid integration and the cost of finance and equity. While these barriers exist, support from government, through bodies such as ARENA, remains crucial in getting new large-scale solar projects built.”