AUSTRALIA'S largest photovoltaic (PV) solar farm will be built in Canberra by Spanish renewable energy company Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), Environment and Sustainable Development Minister Simon Corbell announced earlier this month.
FRV will build the solar farm on 50 hectares near Royalla, 23 kilometres south of Canberra CBD, after it won the ACT Government's reverse auction for a 20-year Feed in Tariff entitlement.
The 20 megawatt facility will be made up of 83,000 PV panels and produce enough renewable electricity to power approximately 4,400 Canberra homes.
When completed, the Royalla solar farm will be the largest PV plant operating in Australia and is part of the ACT Government's sustainable energy policy to promote the greater use of solar in Canberra.
Mr Corbell said the announcement marks the completion of the first stage of the government's 'Big Solar' plans, with the second general stream of the reverse-auction process to be completed in March 2013 delivering another 20MW of solar generating capacity.
"This project is delivering on the ACT Labor Government's vision to see Canberra as Australia's solar capital, and begins the transition from fossil fuel energy sources to cleaner renewable energies like solar," the Minister said.
"The delivery of this nation leading project sets the scene for the ACT to start meeting its greenhouse gas reduction targets of 40% by 2020 and to become a carbon neutral city in 2060."
Subject to planning approvals and environmental clearances, construction of the solar farm is planned for 2013 and set to be completed in 2014.