The Spanish solar energy company, ACS/Cobra Energy, has confirmed that it is interested in developing a large solar energy plant in Australia.
ACS/Cobra Energy operates a number of solar thermal plants in Spain, including the Andasol-1 and Andasol-2 solar thermal plants near Grenada. The Andasol plants, with a combined capacity of 100 megawatts are the largest solar power plants in Europe.
ACS/Cobra Energy is proposing a much larger plant, of about 250 megawatts, for Australia.
According to Cobra Energy’s Australian chief, Alan Atchison, building a 250MW plant would involve capital expenditure of about $1 billion, of which ACS/Cobra could easily provide a $666 million share with the balance coming from Federal and, possibly, State government programs.
The company is considering three possible sites, two in Queensland and one near Mildura in Victoria.
A separate proposal for a 250 megawatt solar power plant near Mildura was stalled last year when the developer, Solar Systems, went into administration. The assets of Solar Systems have now been purchased by the Sydney solar panel manufacturer, Silex.
Silex has obtained the rights to the Mildura development and $3.5 million in funding from the Victorian Government but is still in negotiation for the bulk of the $125 million promised to Solar Systems for the project.