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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Energy and Water Supply
    The Honourable Mark McArdle

    Cloncurry Solar Farm closure

    Minister for Energy and Water Supply
    The Honourable Mark McArdle

    Thursday, May 24, 2012

    Cloncurry Solar Farm closure

    24 May 2012

    Government withdraws its funding from Cloncurry Solar Farm

    The Queensland Government today withdrew its financial support for the Cloncurry Solar Farm as part of its campaign to achieve savings for the state’s taxpayers.

    Minister for Energy and Water Supply Mark McArdle said the Cloncurry Solar Farm was at a very early stage and withdrawing from the project now would save Queenslanders about $5.6 million.

    “These are savings which will benefit all Queenslanders rather than localised climate initiatives,” Mr McArdle said.

    “The government’s withdrawal from the project now minimises the cost to taxpayers.

    “I want to stress that the Queensland Government’s decision to exit the Cloncurry Solar Farm is not due to concerns about the proponent or their ability to deliver. This is about getting the state’s finances back on track.

    “Large-scale solar farms are proven technology and it is up to the private sector to decide whether to invest in, build and operate such projects in Queensland.

    “The government is working to establish a stronger renewable and alternative energy sector with a targeted focus on practical research and development of Queensland’s abundant renewable energy resources.

    “We are also supporting Queensland businesses to access funding from Commonwealth programs to develop Queensland-based clean energy projects.”

    Mr McArdle said the government had informed Ingenero Pty Ltd, which was named preferred tenderer in December 2011 to design, build and operate the 2.128 megawatt solar farm, and the Cloncurry Shire Council.

    “The Queensland Government had an option in its contract with Ingenero to cancel the contract at any time for any reason. The government has chosen to exercise this option to save money for Queensland taxpayers.”

    Mr McArdle said most of the funds would have been spent on the purchase of photovoltaic panels and racking, but these costs would be saved because the project was at such an early stage.

    The government’s financial withdrawal from the solar farm will have no impact on the reliability of electricity supply in Cloncurry as the project’s main aim was to test the performance of a solar farm in north-west Queensland.


    Media contact: K Collins 0417 267 982