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World’s largest solar power plant to be built in New South Wales

The Federal Government is providing a $66.5 million grant to fund research to build one of the largest solar power plants in the world in northwest New South Wales.

The Education Investment Fund (EIF) grant will underpin the Moree Solar farm, which will power around 45,000 homes and perform research.

CSIRO will lead a consortium of researchers from the University of New South Wales, the University of Newcastle and Hunter TAFE to conduct research at the proposed Moree Solar farm – a $925 million project led by BP Solar, Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) and Pacific Hydro.

The Moree Solar Farm proposal is for a 150 megawatt photovoltaic power plant for outer Moree. Twice the size of any photovoltaic power plant operating in the world today, it is estimated that the project will create around 300 to 400 jobs during the construction phase.

Moree Solar Farm spokesman Tony Stocken said the research and development grant would ensure the community shares in the benefits flowing from the Solar Flagships program.

"The EIF funding enables BP Solar, FRV and Pacific Hydro to work side-by-side with some of the foremost solar experts in Australia," Stocken said.

Preliminary research will begin this year, with completion and commissioning of the plant expected by the end of 2015.

[Solar panels photo courtesy Moree Solar Farm.]

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