$360m solar plant for Hunter


Australian company CBD Energy has announced plans to build a $360 million solar farm and manufacturing plant in the New South Wales Hunter Valley.

CBD Energy says the first stage of the project will cost $60 million. It involves the construction of a five-megawatt solar farm on land near Raymond Terrace, north of Newcastle, which it hopes to complete by June next year.

Output will eventually be expanded to 30 megawatts, providing enough green electricity for more than 30,000 homes.

CBD executive chairman Gerry McGowan says the next stage will be building a factory to make a revolutionary new type of thin-film solar panel.

"We’ll manufacture [it] for a tenth of the cost of conventional PV technology," he said.

The federal Coalition has promised to contribute $20 million to the first stage of the project, if it is re-elected.

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