The fate of a major solar power project in Queensland state, Australia, hangs in the balance after the state’s government withdrew a A$75 million funding deed.

The 250 MW Solar Dawn project near Chinchilla is designed to be a showcase for compact linear fresnel reflector (CLFR) technology but the consortium developing the plant were unable to meet a recent deadline for financial close.

The Queensland government has therefore withdrawn from the project support agreement.

Project Director Anthony Wiseman said that the Solar Dawn consortium would pursue discussions with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Queensland government to move Solar Dawn forward based on the project’s advanced status and the strong economic and environmental benefits it offers to the state and the country.

“Solar Dawn is well-positioned to bring large-scale solar power to the forefront of energy production in Australia and help realise Queensland’s potential as a world-leading producer of more efficient, reliable and renewable energy,” said Wiseman.

Australia’s federal Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson, said that the project had made significant progress and that the decision of the Queensland government was a disappointing development.

“The Queensland government is putting at jeopardy a project that represents $1.5 billion in economic investment to regional Queensland, 300 construction and local manufacturing jobs and a $68 million solar research and development program at the University of Queensland,” said Ferguson. “These opportunities have to be grabbed but the Queensland government seems content to let them slip by.”