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29 April 2009


First Solar to supply modules for Australia’s largest PV installation

First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA is to supply its cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules to Solar Shop Australia Pty Ltd for a 1MW DC rooftop project commissioned by the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of South Australia. The solar power system, installed on six separate buildings at the Adelaide Showground, will be the largest PV installation in the country.

Solar Shop is the largest provider of grid-connected solar systems in Australia, having installed 25% of all systems in 2008. In partnership with building and engineering company Build Environs Pty Ltd, it will design and construct the 1MW installation, which is expected to displace about 1500 tons of CO2 per year. Construction is expected to begin immediately and to be completed by third-quarter 2009. The power produced will be used predominantly at the Adelaide Showground site, displacing power generated from conventional sources.

“Solar Shop determined First Solar’s modules offered the best option for the Showground after considering a number of other solar technologies and the client’s specific requirements,” says Solar Shop’s managing director Adrian Ferraretto.

As the world’s largest manufacturer of thin-film solar modules, in March First Solar announced that it had produced 1GW of PV modules since beginning commercial production in early 2002. The firm also claims the PV industry’s lowest manufacturing cost, having broken the $1 per watt price barrier by reducing its manufacturing cost to 98 cents.

“This project marks the beginning of what we expect to be a very promising future for solar energy in Australia,” says John Carrington, First Solar’s executive VP of marketing & business development. “Australia's policy initiatives have set the stage for the growth of affordable renewable energy.”

See related items:

First Solar secures financing for 53MW German plant

CdTe PV maker First Solar to build 48MW plant for Sempra

First Solar to acquire multi-Gigawatt utility-scale PV project business

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