The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has announced $8.4 million funding support for Canadian Solar and Scouller Energy to construct a 4.5 megawatt solar farm near Normanton in far North-West Queensland.

Normanton is on the fringe of the grid and currently relies on coal-fired power that is generated more than 1,000 kilometres away in Rockhampton. This results in significant losses as the power is transmitted across the network.

Normanton Solar Farm will act as a test case to demonstrate how integrating solar into the grid can improve energy reliability in regional Australia and will allow energy distribution businesses to consider whether it is feasible to compensate large-scale solar plants for the network benefits they provide.