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Queensland Commits A$100 Million for Solar Projects

Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) -- The Queensland state government in Australia will provide as much as A$100 million ($99 million) in funding to develop two commercial-scale solar projects.

The funding amount is based on the condition that both projects under consideration for the federal government’s Solar Flagships Program are developed in Queensland, state Energy Minister Stephen Robertson said today in a statement. “If only one Queensland project is approved by the Commonwealth, the funding will be reduced,” he said.

The state funding will be for projects selected under the federal solar program, which is intended to support the construction of large-scale sun-powered plants in Australia through grants totaling A$1.5 billion. The government is targeting that the program will lead to the development as much as 1,000 megawatts of solar power generation capacity.

The first round of federal funding is for one solar thermal project, where the sun’s energy makes steam that’s then used to generate power, and a photovoltaic station, where solar energy is converted directly to produce electricity.

The federal government in May shortlisted eight companies for the first round of the program, with four of them planning to develop their projects in Queensland. AGL Energy Ltd. is the only company that is planning a PV plant in Queensland that has been shortlisted for possible funding under the solar program.

AGL is proposing to build a 320-megawatt plant. The shortlisted companies in the state also include Parsons Brinckerhoff and Transfield Holdings for 150-megawatt plants and Wind Prospect CWP for a 250-megawatt station.

To contact the reporters responsible for this story: Baldave Singh bsingh35@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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