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EMC Solar to open Carnarvon project

The owner of WA’s biggest privately-owned solar power station is now focusing on development of the second biggest project.

EMC Solar, trading as Energy Made Clean, will officially open its Carnarvon solar power plant today in “a significant advance for renewable energy in WA”.

The 290kW plant will help power Carnarvon under a 30-year supply deal with the State Government-owned Horizon Power.

EMC, whose board includes former State Labor minister Alannah MacTiernan, is now concentrating on plans for a 2MW solar plant at Moora in the Wheatbelt as part of its plan for a staged roll-out of 50MW of solar power in WA.

The $2.9 million facility was built with the aid of a $1.5 million grant from the Federal Government’s now-closed Renewable Remote Power Generation program.

It has been producing power since February.

Significantly, given the State’s recent history on infrastructure projects, it was completed well under its initial budget of $3.4 million.

EMC chief executive John Davidson said that reflected the rapidly dropping cost of solar and should hold the company in good stead for its planned roll-out.

“There has been a lot of ground-breaking for the company and for Horizon Power that will ease the way for future projects,” Mr Davidson said in a statement.

EMC said it wanted to develop complementary technology at Carnarvon, including storage capacity to even out generation fluctuations, “which would open the way for a much larger installation”.

It was also negotiating geothermal permits for the site.

EMC was founded nearly 20 years ago and hopes to benefit from investment in clean energy projects after the onset of the carbon tax.

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