First Solar successfully installed the final advanced PV module at the Nyngan Solar Plant in New South Wales (NSW), completing module installation for the 102MW (ac) Project. Approximately 25% of generation from block one began in March this year. Once complete, the plant will not only be the largest PV plant in the Southern Hemisphere, but also a major milestone for the utility-scale solar industry in Australia.
Jack Curtis, First Solar's Regional Manager for Asia Pacific said, "These 1.36 million modules will have a higher energy yield than traditional crystalline silicon modules, particularly in hot climates, will produce no carbon emissions and will require no water during operation. Utility scale solar PV is already cost competitive with conventional generation in many parts of the world and will increasingly deliver economic stimulus to rural Australia without depleting natural resources."
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said ARENA had been working with AGL and First Solar during the project's planning and construction stages to ensure the energy industry would benefit from their experiences. AGL’s Managing Director and CEO, Andy Vesey, added that the low-emission technology utilized in the Nyngan Solar Plant is an important part of AGL's journey towards a decarbonized electricity generation sector.
The construction of the Nyngan Solar Plant has created more than 250 on-site jobs. It also created off-site jobs to supply material as well as roles responsible for the design, management and support of the project.
"In addition to boosting the local economy through job creation, First Solar supported Australian automotive parts manufactures who were exploring new business opportunities,” said Mr Curtis. “They produced vital parts, like mounting structures, transformers and switchgear to the plant."
Local procurement accounted for over 55% of the total procurement spend on the Nyngan Solar Plant.
In addition to the Nyngan Solar Project, AGL also engaged First Solar to deliver the 53 MW (AC) Broken Hill Solar Plant, also located in NSW.
(Photo Credit: First Solar's twitter )