Coalition confirms funding for $500m solar project

From the Sunraysia Daily.
BY CHRIS MCLENNAN

Solar sure: Coalition confirms funding for $500m project

THE Victorian Government has confirmed its support for Mildura’s two proposed solar power stations.

A project with the promise of attracting $350 million of taxpayer money to Mildura was looking a little frayed around the edges.

Energy Minister Michael O’Brien yesterday reaffirmed the promise he made to Sunraysia Daily soon after his appointment earlier this year to support then Premier John Brumby’s $100 million pledge for the Mallee Solar Park.

TRUenergy’s proposed 180 megawatt flat panel array south of Red Cliffs won what jubilant former mayor Glenn Milne called the biggest cheque ever written for Sunraysia.

The Victorian Government support was seen as a major fillip to the project’s chance of winning further support from the Federal Government’s Solar Flagship’s program.

A government report this week estimated that support at being in the order of $250 million.

It is the first time there’s ever been a disclosure about the expected size of the support from the Federal Government – the total cost of the project has never been publicly released.

Now we know it’s about $350 million and that’s before TRUenergy and its project partners kick in their investment – one informed estimate yesterday put the total cost now at about $500 million.

Cr Milne said the final amount could be as high as $600 million.

“Yes, it’s a truly massive project which is why we desperately want it for Mildura,” he said.

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