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28 January 2014

First Solar breaks ground on AGL’s 102MW Nyngan Solar Project in New South Wales

Cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film photovoltaic modules First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA has begun construction of Australia’s largest utility-scale solar project, a 250 hectare solar plant in Nyngan, New South Wales (NSW).

Less than six months after Sydney-based AGL Energy Ltd (Australia’s largest private owner and operator of renewable energy assets) achieved financial close for the project, First Solar has broken ground on the installation of about 1,350,000 modules.

In addition to construction, First Solar is also providing engineering and procurement services for the project and will provide maintenance services for a period of five years after commissioning. Expected to be completed in mid-2015, the project will produce 102MWAC (enough electricity to power more than 33,000 average NSW homes). The energy supplied will abate more than 203,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year (equivalent to taking more than 53,000 cars off Australia’s roads).

“Each project that First Solar constructs builds acceptance of and confidence in utility-scale solar as an effective source of power generation in Australia,” says Jack Curtis, First Solar’s VP of business development for Asia Pacific. “As the Nyngan project develops, we look forward to seeing its impact, not only in generating important local job opportunities, but also in strengthening the solar industry’s position within Australia’s energy mix.”

First Solar expects to create an estimated 300 direct construction jobs during building of the Nyngan solar plant. The firm is also engaging with local contractors and will make announcements as contracts are issued. In total, the project is expected to add nearly 2% to the gross regional product of the community.

The Nyngan solar plant is the first of two utility-scale solar projects to have received funding by the Commonwealth Government through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the NSW Government. First Solar expects to start construction of the second project in Broken Hill, NSW, in mid-2014.

See related items:

First Solar contracts IXL to supply framing system for AGL’s New South Wales projects

First Solar to deliver 155MW of solar power projects in New South Wales for Australia’s AGL

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

Tags: First Solar Thin-film photovoltaic CdTe

Visit: www.firstsolar.com

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