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Australia’s largest solar farm opens in the ACT

By 2 September 2014 106

Canberra is a step closer to meeting its 90% renewable energy target with the official opening tomorrow of the 20MW FRV Royalla solar farm by Minister for the Environment, Simon Corbell.

The facility is the first large-scale solar farm connected to the national electricity market and is an important part of the ACT’s commitment to achieving the 90% renewable energy target by 2020.

The 83,000 panels that make up the Royalla solar farm are a tangible example of the ACT Government’s strategy to meet its and fulfils its commitment to the overwhelming majority of Canberrans, who support renewable energy technology and the government’s initiatives.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, The Honourable Mr Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, and the Ambassador of Spain to Australia, His Excellency Mr Enrique Viguera, will attend the opening of the solar farm developed by the Spanish company Fotowatio Renewable Ventures.

The opening will be a significant day for the territory and is a direct outcome of the ACT Government’s ambitious renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction policies.

What: Opening of the FRV Royalla solar farm
When: Wednesday 3 September 2014
Time: 1.30–2.30 pm
Where: FRV Royalla Solar Farm, Monaro Highway, Williamsdale

(Simon Corbell Media Release)

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106 Responses to Australia’s largest solar farm opens in the ACT
#1
HenryBG4:15 pm, 03 Sep 14

In fact, why are we paying Spain to build these things?

I recall Bob Brown was warning back in the ’90s that unless we started to seriously invest in modern technologies, we would end up buying them from foreign countries instead of being in the more beneficial reverse situation.

#2
Antagonist5:06 pm, 03 Sep 14

HenryBG said :

In fact, why are we paying Spain to build these things?

I recall Bob Brown was warning back in the ’90s that unless we started to seriously invest in modern technologies, we would end up buying them from foreign countries instead of being in the more beneficial reverse situation.

In the 1970′s we were world leaders in solar technology. Not now. Our loss is Spain’s gain.

On a side note, I am pretty sure China installed more solar panels last year than the US has installed in its entire history. Not only have we fallen behind, but we are falling further behind very quickly!

#3
justin heywood5:23 pm, 03 Sep 14

HenryBG said :

In fact, why are we paying Spain to build these things?

I recall Bob Brown was warning back in the ’90s that unless we started to seriously invest in modern technologies, we would end up buying them from foreign countries instead of being in the more beneficial reverse situation.

And behind bloody SPAIN.

All the talk about the ‘clever country’ is just that, talk.

#4
wildturkeycanoe5:31 pm, 03 Sep 14

So, there is another 20MW of power the coal refineries don’t have to produce, then having to recoup costs by increasing their prices. It isn’t a win for us…yet.

#5
dungfungus6:17 pm, 03 Sep 14

HenryBG said :

In fact, why are we paying Spain to build these things?

I recall Bob Brown was warning back in the ’90s that unless we started to seriously invest in modern technologies, we would end up buying them from foreign countries instead of being in the more beneficial reverse situation.

HenryBG said :

In fact, why are we paying Spain to build these things?

I recall Bob Brown was warning back in the ’90s that unless we started to seriously invest in modern technologies, we would end up buying them from foreign countries instead of being in the more beneficial reverse situation.

As I understand it we are not paying the Spanish company anything to build the solar factory.
They “won” the reverse auction by agreeing for the ACT Government to pay them a certain amount for electricity they generate.
I am not sure of the amount but It could be three times as much as the domestic rate were paying ActewAGL for. This is why our electricity bills will be rising as it “costs to be clean and feel good”.
All renewable energy is heavily subsidised (by us).

#6
Ben_Dover8:08 pm, 03 Sep 14

A good slingshot and a bag of ball bearings should sort it out.

#7
dungfungus9:21 pm, 03 Sep 14

wildturkeycanoe said :

So, there is another 20MW of power the coal refineries don’t have to produce, then having to recoup costs by increasing their prices. It isn’t a win for us…yet.

The spin is that this solar factory will power 4500 houses. The reality is that it may – if the sun is shining.
What happens to those 4500 houses at night time when it is -5 degrees?
And when you say” it isn’t a win for us..yet”, who is “us”?

#8
dungfungus9:25 pm, 03 Sep 14

justin heywood said :

HenryBG said :

In fact, why are we paying Spain to build these things?

I recall Bob Brown was warning back in the ’90s that unless we started to seriously invest in modern technologies, we would end up buying them from foreign countries instead of being in the more beneficial reverse situation.

And behind bloody SPAIN.

All the talk about the ‘clever country’ is just that, talk.

Isn’t Spain one of those financially fly-blown European countries that sell trams to us?
Spain was one of those countries who nominated Wayne Swan as “World’s Best Treasurer” and led the cheer squad about Australia’s economy being the envy of the rest of the world.

#9
260410:59 pm, 03 Sep 14

HenryBG said :

In fact, why are we paying Spain to build these things?

I recall Bob Brown was warning back in the ’90s that unless we started to seriously invest in modern technologies, we would end up buying them from foreign countries instead of being in the more beneficial reverse situation.

The only reason Spain has such huge solar companies is because of massive and unsustainable government subsidies to its solar industry. Of course those companies got massive – getting paid by the government for solar electricity at a rate 12 times the cost of standard electricity does that.

Having had their generous feed-in tariffs cut by the Spanish government, those companies are now scouring the globe for other gullible politicians to take advantage of. Enter Simon Corbell, flush with cash from the usual round of annual rate and fee increases paid by ACT ratepayers.

Any idea that we should provide subsidies similar to those paid by European nations is completely ridiculous. So is the idea that we could ever compete with solar manufacturers in China. Those are just the sort of ridiculous ideas that you’d expect from an ignoramus like Bob Brown, who always had the luxury of being in a minority party with no responsibility for implementing or paying for anything.

#10
Snow_Crash12:01 am, 04 Sep 14

dungfungus said :

HenryBG said :

In fact, why are we paying Spain to build these things?

I recall Bob Brown was warning back in the ’90s that unless we started to seriously invest in modern technologies, we would end up buying them from foreign countries instead of being in the more beneficial reverse situation.

HenryBG said :

In fact, why are we paying Spain to build these things?

I recall Bob Brown was warning back in the ’90s that unless we started to seriously invest in modern technologies, we would end up buying them from foreign countries instead of being in the more beneficial reverse situation.

As I understand it we are not paying the Spanish company anything to build the solar factory.
They “won” the reverse auction by agreeing for the ACT Government to pay them a certain amount for electricity they generate.
I am not sure of the amount but It could be three times as much as the domestic rate were paying ActewAGL for. This is why our electricity bills will be rising as it “costs to be clean and feel good”.
All renewable energy is heavily subsidised (by us).

“I am not sure….”
Then be sure about this. Fossil fuel is subsidised.

#11
dungfungus8:02 am, 04 Sep 14

Snow_Crash said :

dungfungus said :

HenryBG said :

In fact, why are we paying Spain to build these things?

I recall Bob Brown was warning back in the ’90s that unless we started to seriously invest in modern technologies, we would end up buying them from foreign countries instead of being in the more beneficial reverse situation.

HenryBG said :

In fact, why are we paying Spain to build these things?

I recall Bob Brown was warning back in the ’90s that unless we started to seriously invest in modern technologies, we would end up buying them from foreign countries instead of being in the more beneficial reverse situation.

As I understand it we are not paying the Spanish company anything to build the solar factory.
They “won” the reverse auction by agreeing for the ACT Government to pay them a certain amount for electricity they generate.
I am not sure of the amount but It could be three times as much as the domestic rate were paying ActewAGL for. This is why our electricity bills will be rising as it “costs to be clean and feel good”.
All renewable energy is heavily subsidised (by us).

“I am not sure….”
Then be sure about this. Fossil fuel is subsidised.

I can only be sure about fossil fuel being subsidised if you give me the details because while I hear this simplistic type of response all the time no one ever provides proof.
At least we have been given some idea of the subsidies we are going to pay on the part time Royalla solar factory (0.35c per household per week) which seems odd as sunshine is free.

#12
dungfungus8:03 am, 04 Sep 14

2604 said :

HenryBG said :

In fact, why are we paying Spain to build these things?

I recall Bob Brown was warning back in the ’90s that unless we started to seriously invest in modern technologies, we would end up buying them from foreign countries instead of being in the more beneficial reverse situation.

The only reason Spain has such huge solar companies is because of massive and unsustainable government subsidies to its solar industry. Of course those companies got massive – getting paid by the government for solar electricity at a rate 12 times the cost of standard electricity does that.

Having had their generous feed-in tariffs cut by the Spanish government, those companies are now scouring the globe for other gullible politicians to take advantage of. Enter Simon Corbell, flush with cash from the usual round of annual rate and fee increases paid by ACT ratepayers.

Any idea that we should provide subsidies similar to those paid by European nations is completely ridiculous. So is the idea that we could ever compete with solar manufacturers in China. Those are just the sort of ridiculous ideas that you’d expect from an ignoramus like Bob Brown, who always had the luxury of being in a minority party with no responsibility for implementing or paying for anything.

Well said.

#13
Southmouth8:12 am, 04 Sep 14

I like solar, a lot. But everyone on the eastern seaboard who uses the grid is buying there electricity from the national electricity market. Since the removal of the carbon tax the price has been about $30 per MWh. I think we are paying the Spanish company $173 or there abouts. I’d be interested to hear how coal is subsidised.

#14
watto2310:03 am, 04 Sep 14

dungfungus said :

Snow_Crash said :

dungfungus said :

HenryBG said :

In fact, why are we paying Spain to build these things?

I recall Bob Brown was warning back in the ’90s that unless we started to seriously invest in modern technologies, we would end up buying them from foreign countries instead of being in the more beneficial reverse situation.

HenryBG said :

In fact, why are we paying Spain to build these things?

I recall Bob Brown was warning back in the ’90s that unless we started to seriously invest in modern technologies, we would end up buying them from foreign countries instead of being in the more beneficial reverse situation.

As I understand it we are not paying the Spanish company anything to build the solar factory.
They “won” the reverse auction by agreeing for the ACT Government to pay them a certain amount for electricity they generate.
I am not sure of the amount but It could be three times as much as the domestic rate were paying ActewAGL for. This is why our electricity bills will be rising as it “costs to be clean and feel good”.
All renewable energy is heavily subsidised (by us).

“I am not sure….”
Then be sure about this. Fossil fuel is subsidised.

I can only be sure about fossil fuel being subsidised if you give me the details because while I hear this simplistic type of response all the time no one ever provides proof.
At least we have been given some idea of the subsidies we are going to pay on the part time Royalla solar factory (0.35c per household per week) which seems odd as sunshine is free.

Easy, mining is subsidised all the time, with deisel fuel rebates. That is a start. You only believe things you want to believe and yet are happy to spread rubbish about everything else.

http://environmentvictoria.org.au/fossilfuelsubsidies#.VAeracWSx8E

http://www.couriermail.com.au/business/coal-and-gas-paid-7b-in-subsidies/story-fn7kjcme-1226301312395?nk=8c637a21d6e22548d7054072d50dd166

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_policy_of_Australia

Thats just 3 sources i found from google. Majority of big business in Australia gets subsidies from the government under the guise of “maintaining competitive against global companies” and “employing more workers”. Doesn’t matter what the subsidy is for, there are plenty of example where mining and fossil fuels get support from the government.

#15
watto2310:04 am, 04 Sep 14

dungfungus said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

So, there is another 20MW of power the coal refineries don’t have to produce, then having to recoup costs by increasing their prices. It isn’t a win for us…yet.

The spin is that this solar factory will power 4500 houses. The reality is that it may – if the sun is shining.
What happens to those 4500 houses at night time when it is -5 degrees?
And when you say” it isn’t a win for us..yet”, who is “us”?

Peak usage is always during the day, especially in summer when A/C is running and the sun is shining.

#16
Maya12310:59 am, 04 Sep 14

watto23 said :

dungfungus said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

So, there is another 20MW of power the coal refineries don’t have to produce, then having to recoup costs by increasing their prices. It isn’t a win for us…yet.

The spin is that this solar factory will power 4500 houses. The reality is that it may – if the sun is shining.
What happens to those 4500 houses at night time when it is -5 degrees?
And when you say” it isn’t a win for us..yet”, who is “us”?

Peak usage is always during the day, especially in summer when A/C is running and the sun is shining.

That’s also when the cost of power is greatest, often MANY times more. Be interesting if people were paid for their solar at the going rate when it is generated, how much they would earn, as compared to what they are paid now.

#17
HenryBG11:00 am, 04 Sep 14

Southmouth said :

I like solar, a lot. But everyone on the eastern seaboard who uses the grid is buying there electricity from the national electricity market. Since the removal of the carbon tax the price has been about $30 per MWh. I think we are paying the Spanish company $173 or there abouts. I’d be interested to hear how coal is subsidised.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-16/chinese-firm-wins-25m-grant-to-develop-latrobe/5525544

And that’s but a small fraction of the many subsidy grants that were awarded for coal this year alone.

#18
HenryBG11:03 am, 04 Sep 14

Southmouth said :

I’d be interested to hear how coal is subsidised.

Here’s another $50million that was given to coal this year:

http://www.smh.com.au/environment/50m-for-brown-coal-projects-20140515-38cwl.html

#19
HenryBG11:06 am, 04 Sep 14

dungfungus said :

I can only be sure about fossil fuel being subsidised if you give me the details because while I hear this simplistic type of response all the time no one ever provides proof.

Weirdly, no matter how many times the facts are laid out in front of you, you remain oblivious to them.

Here is another $90million in subsidies for coal, in 2012:
http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/m-fund-for-vic-brown-coal-technology/story-e6frfku9-1226442441048

As the article points out, it makes no sense whatsoever to be subsidising obsolete technologies when newer technologies are available.

#20
HenryBG11:07 am, 04 Sep 14

2604 said :

The only reason Spain has such huge solar companies is because of massive and unsustainable government subsidies to its solar industry.

And yet the Spanish are earning export dollars selling us technology because we failed to develop our own.

A win for the Spanish, I’d say.

2604 said :

Any idea that we should provide subsidies similar to those paid by European nations is completely ridiculous. .

And yet…the Spanish won this contract, out-competing the Chinese….your argument appears to be faulty.

#21
Southmouth11:32 am, 04 Sep 14

Are you saying that fossil fuel power generation in australia is subsidised?

#22
dungfungus12:16 pm, 04 Sep 14

HenryBG said :

Southmouth said :

I like solar, a lot. But everyone on the eastern seaboard who uses the grid is buying there electricity from the national electricity market. Since the removal of the carbon tax the price has been about $30 per MWh. I think we are paying the Spanish company $173 or there abouts. I’d be interested to hear how coal is subsidised.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-16/chinese-firm-wins-25m-grant-to-develop-latrobe/5525544

And that’s but a small fraction of the many subsidy grants that were awarded for coal this year alone.

That grant isn’t for coal that will be generating electricity in Australia – it’s for developing a briquette export industry.
You should be comfortable with that as the Chinese are leading the world in emission controls, aren’t they?
demonstration plant.

#23
HenryBG12:59 pm, 04 Sep 14

dungfungus said :

HenryBG said :

Southmouth said :

I like solar, a lot. But everyone on the eastern seaboard who uses the grid is buying there electricity from the national electricity market. Since the removal of the carbon tax the price has been about $30 per MWh. I think we are paying the Spanish company $173 or there abouts. I’d be interested to hear how coal is subsidised.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-16/chinese-firm-wins-25m-grant-to-develop-latrobe/5525544

And that’s but a small fraction of the many subsidy grants that were awarded for coal this year alone.

That grant isn’t for coal that will be generating electricity in Australia – it’s for developing a briquette export industry.
You should be comfortable with that as the Chinese are leading the world in emission controls, aren’t they?
demonstration plant.

So what do you think a smart country would be doing?

Subsidising a Chinese company to make profits from Australian coal, or developing a solar power industry to make profits from modern technologies?

But maybe you still don’t accept that the fossil fuel industry is still attracting subsidies. Here is what the IEA says:
http://www.iea.org/publications/worldenergyoutlook/resources/energysubsidies/
“The IEA’s latest estimates indicate that fossil-fuel consumption subsidies worldwide amounted to $409 billion in 2010, up from $300 billion in 2009,”

Now just imagine that money was being spent on developing a modern sustainable energy industry instead of continuing to flog the dead horse of an obsolete 20th-century polluting industry?

#24
dungfungus1:35 pm, 04 Sep 14

HenryBG said :

2604 said :

The only reason Spain has such huge solar companies is because of massive and unsustainable government subsidies to its solar industry.

And yet the Spanish are earning export dollars selling us technology because we failed to develop our own.

A win for the Spanish, I’d say.

2604 said :

Any idea that we should provide subsidies similar to those paid by European nations is completely ridiculous. .

And yet…the Spanish won this contract, out-competing the Chinese….your argument appears to be faulty.

The winning bid was the from the supplier that would accept the lowest price for their solar generated electricity. That price includes the capital cost spread over the life of the contract plus a margin of profit. This really means the Spanish company was prepared to accept less than the other competitors. The ACT Government is prepared to pay several times more for solar generated electricity than the electricity available from other sources therefore a huge subsidy is needed to bridge the gap.
It is not as if we need more electricity; we are choosing to pay a lot more to fulfill some idealogical goal.

#25
dungfungus1:43 pm, 04 Sep 14

HenryBG said :

dungfungus said :

HenryBG said :

Southmouth said :

I like solar, a lot. But everyone on the eastern seaboard who uses the grid is buying there electricity from the national electricity market. Since the removal of the carbon tax the price has been about $30 per MWh. I think we are paying the Spanish company $173 or there abouts. I’d be interested to hear how coal is subsidised.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-16/chinese-firm-wins-25m-grant-to-develop-latrobe/5525544

And that’s but a small fraction of the many subsidy grants that were awarded for coal this year alone.

That grant isn’t for coal that will be generating electricity in Australia – it’s for developing a briquette export industry.
You should be comfortable with that as the Chinese are leading the world in emission controls, aren’t they?
demonstration plant.

So what do you think a smart country would be doing?

Subsidising a Chinese company to make profits from Australian coal, or developing a solar power industry to make profits from modern technologies?

But maybe you still don’t accept that the fossil fuel industry is still attracting subsidies. Here is what the IEA says:
http://www.iea.org/publications/worldenergyoutlook/resources/energysubsidies/
“The IEA’s latest estimates indicate that fossil-fuel consumption subsidies worldwide amounted to $409 billion in 2010, up from $300 billion in 2009,”

Now just imagine that money was being spent on developing a modern sustainable energy industry instead of continuing to flog the dead horse of an obsolete 20th-century polluting industry?

This thread is not about how smart countries are.

#26
rosscoact1:45 pm, 04 Sep 14

HenryBG said :

dungfungus said :

I can only be sure about fossil fuel being subsidised if you give me the details because while I hear this simplistic type of response all the time no one ever provides proof.

Weirdly, no matter how many times the facts are laid out in front of you, you remain oblivious to them.

Here is another $90million in subsidies for coal, in 2012:
http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/m-fund-for-vic-brown-coal-technology/story-e6frfku9-1226442441048

As the article points out, it makes no sense whatsoever to be subsidising obsolete technologies when newer technologies are available.

It keeps him off the streets, everyone has to have a hobby :-D

#27
Southmouth2:41 pm, 04 Sep 14

I wonder if it ever dawned on Simon Corbell to grab a phone directory and ring the rather large hydro power company just to our south and offer them say $90 MWh?

#28
dungfungus2:59 pm, 04 Sep 14

Southmouth said :

I wonder if it ever dawned on Simon Corbell to grab a phone directory and ring the rather large hydro power company just to our south and offer them say $90 MWh?

The electricity from there isn’t “pure” enough. It is tainted by the use of cheap, fossil fuelled electricity to pump water uphill so it can spin the turbines on the way back down.

#29
Southmouth3:35 pm, 04 Sep 14

I think the pumping thing only happened back when “OFF PEAK” electricity was really really cheap. Anyway, he could ask them very politely to use his newly contracted wind energy to pump on windy days and then generate at night or cloudy windless days

#30
pajs4:07 pm, 04 Sep 14

Southmouth said :

I wonder if it ever dawned on Simon Corbell to grab a phone directory and ring the rather large hydro power company just to our south and offer them say $90 MWh?

That would kind of miss the point regarding bringing in new renewable generation capacity.

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