Premier Alan Carpenter today announced that $6million would be given to two companies to develop innovative technology to help reduce the State’s greenhouse gas emissions and provide greater energy security into the future.
The $6million, from the first round of the State Government’s $36.5million Low Emission Energy Development (LEED) fund, will go towards the construction of a massive solar power station in Kalgoorlie and the development of an oil mallee harvesting machine.
“These exciting, innovative projects perfectly illustrate what we want to achieve through the LEED fund,” Mr Carpenter said.
“We want to focus investment towards technologies where Western Australia has a natural and competitive advantage such as geothermal bioenergy, as well as renewable energy generation, such as wind and solar power.
“The LEED fund is a key initiative in the Premier’s Climate Change Action Statement which will assist WA in making the transition to a low-carbon economy of the future.”
By assisting the development of innovative WA projects, the LEED fund also helps to attract a fair share of Commonwealth Government support to the State.
The Premier said an independent expert advisory group, chaired by the State’s chief scientist, Professor Lyn Beazley, had assessed 12 applications for funding.
Both successful applicants demonstrated the use of cutting-edge technology, and had the potential to make a significant contribution in helping the State to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
“Projects like these will also go a long way to providing greater diversity in energy sources and greater energy security,” Mr Carpenter said.
The Premier said he was keen to see other potential projects come forward and apply for funding under round two of the LEED fund, which will be opened soon.
“The first round of the LEED fund has resulted in two extremely valuable and innovative projects,” he said.
“A review of the funding criteria used in round one has resulted in changes which will make it easier for proponents of innovative projects to apply for this significant funding.”
The projects that will be funded in 2008-09 are:
Solar Systems Ltd: $4.5million to assist in building a solar power station in Kalgoorlie using a 500-sun concentrator to focus an intense energy beam on efficient solar cells. The power station will supply 1.77 MW of electricity. The total value of the project is $12.8million.
Future Farm Industries: $1.5million towards the costs of designing, building and testing an oil mallee harvesting machine. Oil Mallees have been recognised for a long time for their potential to provide a bioenergy source which can be grown in combination with conventional cereal cropping systems. The long-living trees also provide significant benefits to biodiversity and soil quality, and can store carbon underground in large woody roots.
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