VICTORIA'S largest solar power project is in jeopardy as the company behind the power plant struggles to secure financial support for the $420 million project.
Solar Systems was awarded $125 million in state and federal government grants in 2006 to help build the the world's largest solar power plant, which is due for completion in 2013.
The Federal Government contributed $75 million and the State Government $50 million.
The plant, being built near Mildura, was designed to provide enough energy for more than 45,000 homes.
In October 2006, Solar Systems managing director Dave Holland said the plant would create about 950 jobs in construction and ''be a catalyst for a new industry that will create more than 10,000 permanent jobs''.
It would also ''make a significant contribution towards reducing Victoria's environmental impact by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 400,000 tonnes per year,'' he said.
But signs that Solar Systems could be in trouble emerged last month when Hong Kong-based China Light & Power wrote down its 20 per cent equity stake in the company.
CLP, which owns TRUenergy, said it would not fund the project unless another investor could be found and that it would now take ''a very cautious approach'' towards future technology investment opportunities.
''We do not believe that it is justifiable for CLP to continue funding a technology business without an additional strategic or financial partner to share the ongoing development risks,'' it said.
Sources told The Age that talks with a potential financier were ongoing but that things were ''touch and go''.