Australia’s Federal Government has pledged $70m to fund research into building the 150 MW Moree Solar Farm, Australia’s first utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) project.

Moree Solar Farm, a $1bn consortium project led by BP Solar, Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) and Pacific Hydro, will be underpinned by the grant, said Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr.

Research into the plant in Moree, New South Wales, will be carried out by the University of New South Wales, the University of Newcastle, and Hunter TAFE.

The Morre Solar Farm proposal is for a 150 MW power plant, which the Australian government claims is twice the size of any similar PV plant currently operating anywhere in the world. Preliminary research will begin this year, with construction due to start in 2012 and completion and commissioning expected by the end of 2015.

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