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The University of New South Wales and the University of Queensland will be indirectly partnering with AGL Energy and First Solar under a new grant from the Australian government. Using the government’s solar flagship programme, AGL Energy and First Solar will construct and operate two solar power plants in western NSW over the next three years. The universities, with the help of a AUD$40.7 million grant from the Education Investment Fund Research Infrastructure Program will establish corresponding research projects.
Part of the EIF funding will be used to build a Power Systems Interface Research Facility, which will examine the significant areas related to the successful integration of solar PV stations into Australia’s electricity grid. "This grant is the most significant and historically largest single investment to build a piece of power system interface research infrastructure in Australia,” said Professor Vassilios Agelidis, director of the Australian Energy Research Institute at UNSW. “It will deliver research skills and innovation towards our energy future."
UNSW’s Professor Les Field, VP and deputy vice chancellor noted that the new research facility would be located in the Tyree Energy Technologies Building. “The building, and the new power systems facility, position UNSW as a national energy research hub capable of delivering much-needed energy technologies and solutions," said Field.