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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

6 October 2005

Solar venture aims to turn sunshine into gold


Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, today welcomed the opening of a privately owned and operated solar farm in Carnarvon, Western Australia, funded under the Australian Government’s Renewable Remote Power Generation Programme (RRPGP).

The 16 kilowatt solar farm is one of the largest in Western Australia, includes 144 solar panels, and is designed to benefit the local community by pumping the power it generates back into the Carnarvon electricity grid.

Senator Campbell said the venture, which received $104,000 of Australian Government funding, showed that businesses and individuals could take positive environmental actions that would also benefit them financially.

"This is what I like to call an environmental double-play – it has both environmental and financial benefits," Senator Campbell said.

"This solar farm harnesses one of Carnarvon’s natural resources in sunshine and uses it to reduce the use of fossil fuels, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and increase the owner’s financial rewards.

"As we continue to look for initiatives to reduce its greenhouse emissions as part of the global response to climate change, there will be new opportunities through the Australian Government for innovative businesses to make money while also helping our climate."

The Carnarvon solar farm was funded through the Australian Government’s Renewable Remote Power Generation Programme, which provides rebates for renewable energy systems serving pastoral stations, Aboriginal communities, tourism operations, homes and other facilities in rural and remote areas of Australia.

Since the programme started in 2001, about 10,000 solar panels have been installed in regional Western Australia, providing more than 1 megawatt of solar generating capacity.

The Renewable Remote Power Generation Programme is an Australian Government initiative, which is funded by diesel excise. In Western Australia, the programme is administered by the Sustainable Energy Development Office.

For more information on the Renewable Remote Power Generation Programme, visit www.greenhouse.gov.au/renewable/rrpgp

Media Contacts:
Renae Stoikos (Minister Campbell) (02) 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

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