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The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

The Hon Warren Snowdon MP
Member for Lingiari

Solar power station for Alice Springs

Media release
26 November 2008

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The Federal Government will fund half of a $6.6 million solar power station to be built in Alice Springs as part of the Australian Government's Alice Solar City project.

Speaking at the 3rd International Solar Energy Society conference in Sydney the Environment Minister Peter Garrett announced $3.3 million in Federal funding for the project.

"The Alice Springs Ilparpa Solar Power Station will generate more than 1800 megawatt hours of clean energy for the region each year, and reduce Australia's annual greenhouse gas emissions by 1300 tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent," Mr Garrett said.

"It will also become a significant landmark in the region with twenty-six 14 metre high solar concentrating dishes built to the south of Alice Springs as part of the Australian Government's Solar City program."

Australian in design, the solar technology on display will use dishes that track the sun throughout the day. More than 3400m2 of mirrors will concentrate the sunlight onto a receiver with high quality 35 per cent efficient photovoltaic cells, similar to those used for power in space, that directly convert sunlight into electricity.

Member for Lingiari, the Hon. Warren Snowdon MP said this large-scale project will soon stand in our Red Centre as an example of Australia's commitment to developing clean energy in the future.

"Since the election, work has finally stepped up to truly make Alice Springs a showcase for renewable power generation in Australia," said Mr Snowdon.

"Only last month the Australian Government launched the Desert Knowledge Australia Solar Centre, our nation's first solar technology park designed to educate and inspire visitors on a vast array of solar technologies.

"Visitors to the power station will learn from the experience; information will be available on site describing the operation of the dishes, their electrical output and the benefits of the Alice Solar City.

"Solar is an abundant source of renewable energy in Central Australia and industry's response to the opportunities presented by the Alice Solar City is very exciting."

Melbourne-based 'Solar Systems' plan to commence work on the solar power station in mid 2009.

Commonwealth of Australia