Hazelwood owner ENGIE seeks large scale solar power stations
Source: RenewEconomy 16/1/17
French energy giant ENGIE, the owner of the soon-to-be-closed 1,500MW Hazelwood brown coal generator in Victoria, has called for proposals for large scale solar projects in Australia.
The tender, revealed in an advertisement placed in RenewEconomy’s daily e-newsletter, circulated to more than 13,000 industry people, calls for proposals to be submitted to the company’s newly-created Engie Renewables Australia division – by February 10.
The push by ENGIE confirms the rapid shift from coal-based power to renewable energy in Australia, and across the world, and the emergence of large scale solar in Australia as it energy costs fall to match those of many wind projects.
Already in the past three weeks, Korean-owned zinc refiner Sun Metals has announced a 100MW solar plant near Townsville to help power a significant refinery expansion, and RenewEconomy also understands another major international renewable energy group is about to announce two 100MW solar projects in Australia and plans for another 1,000MW.
This comes as the 12 projects totalling 480MW awarded grants under the Australian renewable Energy Agency’s big solar program begin construction, and two other significant projects, a 140MW solar plant in Queensland and a 100MW plant in Western Australia get built on a “merchant basis”, meaning the owners are not waiting for a contract and taking advantage of high prices for wholesale electricity and renewable energy certificates (LGCs).
Indeed, there are now nearly 1,000MW of large scale solar projects already scheduled for construction in Australia in 2017.
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