In August 2010, in response to an RFI, Future Energy and consortium partners submitted an Expression of Interest to the Victorian Department of Primary Industries to develop a 2MW PV power plant at Walpeup near Mildura. The proposed project comprises 2MW of the latest-generation Concentrating PV (CPV) panels mounted on dual-axis tracking arrays, and connected to the adjacent 22kV power line. At an estimated construction cost of $10m, the plant would be capable of producing 4,300MWh of emission-free renewable energy annually, roughly matching the peak load of the line and offsetting 5,600 tonnes of CO2.
Immediately prior to the Victorian State Election in November 2010, Future Energy was advised by the DPI that this project had not been included in the shortlist for further consideration.
Subsequently, the current Victorian coalition Government has suspended all work on a range of proposed subsidy schemes to facilitate the establishment of medium and large scale distributed solar generation.
In January 2012, the Government has instructed the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission to carry out an Inquiry into Feed In Tariffs and Barriers to Distributed Generation to inform future policy decisions. More information on the Inquiry.
Future Energy remains committed to the development of distributed solar generation as and when commercial viability can be demonstrated.