In recent years, the commitment to large-scale solar energy in Victoria has revolved around the proposed Mildura Solar Concentrator Power Station which will use a concentrator to focus light onto a photovoltaic (PV) receiver. At this point, no concentrating solar-thermal projects are planned. Significant investment into developing both solar thermal and photovoltaic technologies has been committed by the Federal government (approximately $1.5 billion under the Solar Flagships program) although this is yet to materialise in a finished project.

The Melbourne-based Solar Systems company went into insolvency before completing its concentrated PV systems to be used on the Mildura plant, but the company has since been bought out by Silex.

A handful of small scale industrial applications of photovoltaic technology currently exist in Victoria. These are located at Brunswick, Carlton, Reservoir,  Parkville,  Ballarat University, Queen Victoria Market, and a number of locations in the Melbourne CBD, the Tullamarine Freeway and Fosterville, with a combined capacity of 345.9 kW.

We have more information on the proposed large-scale solar projects in Victoria:

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  1. Sustainable Regional Australia, the commercial arm of the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance leads the development and operation of medium-scale (sub 500kW) solar parks in Victoria. In 2009 SRA commisioned Victoria’s first and largest stand alone grid connected solar parks and is preparing to release 12-months of detailed production data to government and the public. The 300 kW Bendigo Solar Park and Ballarat Solar Park were officially launched in November 2009 and produce enough renewable energy to provide 150 households with solar power. This is approximately the equivalent of 150 households installing a 2 kW solar PV system.
    The solar parks were developed as a part of CVSC to pilot the viability of medium scale solar parks and are blueprints for other regional communities wishing to consider medium-scale, local renewable energy generation.

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