Australia has a fairly heavy reliance on coal power for our electricity supply, despite having plenty of open space and lots of sunshine. Which makes the announcement from Queensland coal power station CS Energy that they'll be installing 44 megawatts worth of solar energy a promising step forward for the Australian energy industry.
The $104.7 million project will be located on 30 hectares in Queensland, and should be completed by 2013. Funding from the project will come from a variety of sources, with the Federal and Queensland governments both chipping in substantial amounts to make the project happen.
The solar energy isn't going to be funnelled out to Queenslanders homes though - instead, it will be used to supplement the coal energy, making the plant significantly more efficient and reducing the amount of CO2 emissions. According to CS Energy CEO David Brown:
"By using energy from the sun with Areva's solar booster application, we will make the coal-fired plant more fuel efficient and reduce its greenhouse intensity - avoiding the production of 35,600 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually."