Australia’s largest solar farm supported by a feed-in tariff is to be built by a Spanish company.

Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) will build the 20 MW solar plant on 50 hectares near the Australian capital Canberra.

It will comprise 83 000 PV panels and produce enough electricity to power 4400 Canberra homes.

Construction is due to begin next year and is expected to be finished in 2014, subject to environmental and planning approval.

FRV national manager Andrea Fontana said the solar farm will produce about 37 000 MWh per year.

Australian Capital Territory (ACT) environment minister Simon Corbell said building the plant was “about making Canberra the solar capital of Australia”.

“It’s about making the shift to renewables at a very cheap price, with a great saving in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and jobs and economic activity in our city.”

“This will be the largest solar farm for the ACT. It will save our city over half a million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and it’s being done at a very cheap price for consumers.”

The project will cost ACT households an extra 25 cents a week or A$13 (US$13.4) a year. That is expected to decrease to around A$9.50 by 2020.