Silex Systems says Mildura CPV plant on track despite ARENA worries

Australian company Silex Systems has sought to reassure investors that its flagship 100MW concentrating solar PV power project in Victoria is still on track despite changes to Australia’s clean energy laws.

Silex shares have suffered badly in the last month, partly due to concerns about the future of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), which the government is seeking to dismantle.

ARENA is a key funder of Silex Solar’s planned 100MW CSPV power station in Mildura, which would be the largest of its type in the world. Last October, the company launched a 1.5MW demonstration scale facility at Mildura.

The large scale station has drawn a $35 million commitment from the Victorian government and $65 million pledged by ARENA, but Silex CEO Michael Goldsworthy said it appeared the funding remains in place

The Silex share price slumped to a 52-week low of $1.21 this month from around the $2 mark in April and above $3 a year ago. It has rallied somewhat since the CEO’s comments to around $1.40.

Silex has been bullish about its solar technology, predicting last year that the levelised cost of energy for its dense array CPV plants could fall below 10c/kWh within a few years, making it cost competitive with a range of competing technologies such as wind and peaking gas.

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