photo: Johnny Jet via flickr.
Though very nearly entirely bereft of details, Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd acted the solar power tease yesterday, announcing that the country would be building the world's largest solar power plant, Reuters reports:The known details at this point are that the plant will be 1000 MW in size, is expected to cost AUS$1.4 billion (US$1.05 billion), and that the winner of a bidding process to be begun later this year will be selected in 2010.
Rudd talked up the plan,
The government plans to invest with industry in the biggest solar generation plant in the world, three times the size of the world's current biggest, which is in California.
Why are we doing this? We are doing it in order to support a clean energy future for Australia, we're doing it to boost economic activity now and we're doing it also to provide jobs and much needed opportunities for business as well.
We don't want to be clean energy followers worldwide, we want to be clean energy leaders worldwide.
Recent California Announcements More than Double Australia's
Good on Australia for wanting to jump into large-scale solar power feet first. But if it really wants to lead in that regards it's got to make up a large lead, just compared to California.
Just last week PG&E; and BrightSource announced that they would be bringing 1.31 GW of solar thermal power online in the next few years. And a similar contract was announced between BrightSource and SCE a few months earlier. This is on top of other nearly as large power plans also in the works.
All of that's said in a healthy spirit of competitive ribbing, and to emphasize that if you're going to talk up 'world's largest' you had better really and genuinely be out in front.
1.3 Gigawatts of Solar Thermal Power in California to be Developed by PG&E; and BrightSource
1,300 Megawatts of Solar Thermal Power to be Developed in Mojave Desert by BrightSource Energy
Solar Thermal Really Heats Up in Nevada: BrightSource Plans 1200 MW Facility Outside Las Vegas
500 MW of Solar Power Plants in California, Southwest to be Developed by NRG Energy and eSolar