CLP To Develop World's Largest Solar Power Station

An Australian subsidiary of CLP Holdings Ltd, the larger of Hong Kong's two power utilities, has agreed with Melbourne-based Solar Systems to develop the world's largest solar power station. TRUenergy will contribute an initial A$7 million ($6.5 million) to develop a 2-megawatt heliostat concentrated photovoltaic pilot plant, subsequently investing up to A$285 million to build the remaining stages of the 154 megawatt project in northern Victoria, Australia, CLP said. The Australian and Victorian governments have also committed to fund development of the HK$2.9 billion ($371 million) project, which will be capable of powering 45,000 homes. Work will begin in 2009. CLP's shares were up 3.8 percent in mid-morning trade, outperforming a flat Hong Kong market. TRUenergy has taken a 20 percent stakeholding in Solar Systems, a private company that has been developing solar technology for 17 years. CLP also entered into a 10-year agreement with Solar Systems to deploy photovoltaic technology in the Asia Pacific region, including China. The Hong Kong-based firm has hit a target of generating 5 percent of its capacity from renewable energy by the end of 2007, three years ahead of schedule, it said. Its latest solar development agreements will make an important contribution to a new target of sourcing 20 percent of its power from non-carbon-emitting generation technologies by 2020, it added. (US$1=A$1.082=HK$7.8) (Reporting by Judy Hua; Editing by Edmund Klamann) REUTERS NEWS SERVICE

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