The universities will partner in the $40.7 million Education Investment Fund Research Infrastructure Program that will support the two projects, which total 159 MW and are due to be built over the next three years at Nyngan and Broken Hill in New South Wales.
The University of Queensland (UQ) said that the research program – funded by the Federal Government through the Education Investment Fund – involved building a large PV pilot plant with research components focused on energy storage, plant optimisation, power systems and the impact of renewable energy on the national electricity market.
“The research will build national capacity for solar power research at the utility scale, and provide invaluable infrastructure for the broader Australian research community,” UQ representative Professor Meredith said.
The new research program will be housed in the Tyree Energy Technologies Building at the University of New South Wales.Article continues below…
AGL was announced in June 2012 as a successful bidder for funding under the Federal Government’s Solar Flagships Program. First Solar will supply thin-film CdTe PV modules and provide engineering, procurement and construction services for the projects.
The companies will receive $129.7 million of federal support to develop the projects, while the New South Wales Government will provide $64.9 million in support to help meet the estimated capital cost of $450 million.