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Australia to build 2 largest solar projects

SYDNEY, July 31 — Australia's two largest solar power projects will be constructed in the state of New South Wales (NSW) by AGL Energy Limited, with financial assistance from the federal and state governments, AGL announced on Wednesday.

The total project cost is about 450 million AU dollars (about US$ 406 million), AGL said.

The AGL solar projects include a 102 megawatt solar plant at Nyngan and a 53 megawatt solar plant at Broken Hill.

According to AGL, the Federal Government's Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will provide 166.7 million AU dollars and the NSW Government will provide 64.9 million AU dollars to support the company's delivery of the projects.

Construction of the Nyngan project will start in January 2014, and is due to be completed in mid-2015 while the Broken Hill project is expected to commence in July 2014, with completion scheduled by November 2015.

"Solar PV (photovoltaic) in Australia has come a long way from being a small-scale industry in a relatively short time frame," AGL Managing Director Michael Fraser said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The Nyngan and Broken Hill solar plants will be the nation's largest solar projects with the Nyngan plant also being the largest in the Southern Hemisphere."

The company expects the projects to create around 450 jobs in Broken Hill and Nyngan.

On an annual basis, the projects will produce about 360,000 megawatt hours of electricity to power 50,000 NSW homes. (PNA/Xinhua)

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