Pete Garrett

Speaking at the International Solar Energy Society conference in Sydney, Environment Minister Peter Garrett announced $3.3 million in Federal funding for a solar power station to be constructed in Alice Springs. The funding is half of the project’s total cost of $6.6 million.

The Australian designed system will have twenty-six 14 metre high mirrored dishes that track the sun throughout the day. These will concentrate the sunlight onto a receiver studded with highly efficient solar panels. Work is expected to commence on the in mid 2009, with completion in 2010. The project will be carried out by Melbourne-based Solar Systems,

The power station will generate more than 1800 megawatt hours of electricity for the area each year and reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by an equivalent of 1300 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Recently, another $3.1 million solar technology park was opened at the Desert Knowledge near Alice Springs. The technology park designed for research and to educate visitors on various solar technologies.