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The Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP
Federal Member for Murray
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister
for the Environment and Heritage


Friday, 27 October 2000

Embargoed until 11:30am

Victoria leading the way in green energy


Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, today announced that four innovative renewable energy projects will receive over $3 million from the Commonwealth's Renewable Energy Commercialisation Program.

"Combined, the projects will save over 20 000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year and create up to 300 new jobs," Dr Stone said.

Melbourne City Council has been offered $1 million to install about 3,800 square metres of state-of-the-art solar technology at the historic Queen Victoria Market.

"The Queen Victoria Market project is believed to be the largest urban solar installation on a market building in the world".

"As the second largest tourist attraction in Melbourne, the Queen Victoria Market provides an excellent opportunity to showcase Australia's leading edge solar technologies".

BP Solar, Battery Energy South Pacific and CSIRO Energy Technology has been offered $1 million to commercially develop a new type of long-life 12 volt battery for use with renewable energy systems.

"The battery is likely to last up to 7 years longer and be 25 per cent more energy efficient than a standard battery".

"Annual production of the batteries is expected to reach 20 000 per year - half of which is likely to go to export markets".

Meanwhile, Lindsay F. Nelson Manufacturing and A F Gason Pty Ltd, have been offered $375,000 to develop a new grain storage unit that utilises solar energy to reduce grain spoilage.

"Grain spoilage is a major problem for farmers; this new technology will help farmers prevent spoilage and potentially improve their sale price by $10 per tonne".

"On top of the economic benefits to farmers, this project is likely to also generate up to 200 jobs in regional Australia".

"The product has significant potential both domestically and internationally, particularly in developing countries where up to 30 per cent of annual grain production is lost due to spoilage."

Pacific Hydro will use its $1 million Commonwealth grant to generate hydro-electricity from Australia's largest irrigation canal.

"The project will see a hydro plant established on the Mulwala Canal which will produce two megawatts of power".

"This is the first time an irrigation channel has been used in Australia to generate hydro power".

Renewable energy is a key component of the Commonwealth's climate change policy and these four projects will contribute greatly to the growth of Australia's renewable energy industry.

"These projects are excellent examples of how government and industry is working together to build a strong renewable energy industry".

The Renewable Energy Commercialisation Program is run by the Australian Greenhouse Office, the lead Commonwealth agency on greenhouse matters, and grants were approved by the Commonwealth Ministerial Council on Greenhouse.

Ends...

Contact: Anne Leo (Dr Sharman Stone's Office) (02) 6277 2016
Carol Bartley (Australian Greenhouse Office) 0412 994 800

Commonwealth of Australia