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14 February 2017

First Solar selected for 63MW solar project in Australia

Cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film photovoltaic module maker First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA says that Genex Power Ltd has achieved financial close for the Kidston Phase One Solar Project in Queensland, Australia.

First Solar will supply 63MWdc of modules to the project, which will produce about 145,000 megawatt-hours of electricity in its first year of operation. The project is located next to the proposed Kidston Pumped Storage Project and, in an industry first, Genex Power will seek to integrate solar generation with a pumped hydroelectricity energy storage system.

"As Australia continues to diversify its renewable energy portfolio, this project is an excellent example of the potential of large-scale solar application and industry best practice," says Ewan Norton-Smith, First Solar's senior manager for business development in Australia. "The combination of solar energy with pumped-storage hydroelectricity will allow for increasing penetration of renewable energy into the grid and will contribute to the stability of supply in the National Electricity Market," he adds. "Genex Power is at the forefront of this emerging industry and, with several compelling Australian projects on the horizon, we're proud to be supporting phase one of the project."

Situated 270km north-west of Townsville in far north Queensland, the project's first phase will use more than 540,000 First Solar modules. The firm claims that its technology has a higher energy yield in hot and humid climates due to its lower temperature coefficient and, over the course of a plant's operational life, will translate to substantial gains in power output. First Solar modules have been used in more large-scale projects in Australia than any other PV manufacturer, it adds.

"The combination of First Solar's thin-film modules, single-axis tracking technology and the excellent local solar resource in Queensland will give our project the highest chance of achieving a record solar capacity factor in Australia," says Genex Power's managing director Michael Addison.

The electricity from the Kidston Phase One Solar Project will be sold via a power purchase agreement (PPA) supported by the Queensland Government. The project is also supported by AUS$8.9m of Government funding through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

Construction of the project will be managed by UGL Engineering Pty Ltd and is on schedule to begin in first-half 2017.

See related items:

First Solar awarded 140MW module supply contract for Australia's largest solar project

Tags: First Solar Thin-film photovoltaic CdTe

Visit: www.firstsolar.com

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