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10 October 2012

Western Australia’s first large-scale solar project officially opened  

Electricity producer Verve Energy of Perth, Australia, GE Energy Financial Services of Stamford, CT, USA and First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA have opened the 10-megawatt Greenough River Solar Farm near Geraldton, Western Australia. Joined by WA Energy Minister Peter Collier, landholders, community members and contractors, the opening follows more than one year of planning, design, construction and testing, and marks Australia's first large-scale photovoltaic (PV) solar project.

"With this landmark project now complete, partners Verve Energy and GE Energy Financial Services are now evaluating the possibility of expanding the plant to up to 40 megawatts to satisfy growing demand for renewable energy," said Jason Waters, CEO, Verve Energy.

The 10-megawatt project is expected to generate enough solar energy to power 3,000 homes and displace 20,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases each year. The plant's output will be purchased by the WA Water Corporation to help offset the energy requirements of its Southern Seawater Desalination Plant.

In addition to supplying over 150,000 of its advanced thin film PV modules and engineering, procurement and construction services for the plant, First Solar will provide operations and maintenance services for the next 15 years.

Western Australian state-owned power utility, Verve Energy, and GE Energy Financial Services each own 50% of the Greenough River Solar Farm, with the WA Government having provided A$20 million in funding, including A$10 million from the WA Royalties for Regions program.

Tags: First Solar CdTe


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