The Queensland government has recalled an amount of AUD$75 million (US$77 million) in funding for a solar thermal project in Chinchilla, Queensland, it has been announced. The 250MW Solar Dawn project has been in development by a consortium of companies selected by the Queensland government in June 2011 and it was part of the Australian Solar Flagship Program. The government funding was supposed to amount to a total of AUD$539 million. The entire project is estimated at a cost of AUD$1.2 billion. The government argued that the project’s consortium was given a deadline until June 30, 2012 to reach financial close but that did not happen.
The Australian Minister for resources and energy, Martin Ferguson, commented on the withdrawal: “The Solar Dawn project offers Queensland the opportunity to be at the forefront of solar thermal technology and home to one of the largest solar power stations in the world. These opportunities have to be grabbed but the Queensland Government seems content to let them slip by. The Queensland Government is putting at jeopardy a project that represents AUD$1.5 billion in economic investment to regional Queensland, 300 construction and local manufacturing jobs and a AUD$68 million solar research and development program at the University of Queensland.”