First Solar has begun construction on the Nyngan Solar Plant, which will be Australia’s largest utility-scale solar plant. The project will employ 300 people during construction, and will be run by by one of the country’s largest renewable energy operators, AGL.
The 1,350,000 advanced thin-film PV modules will cover 250 hectares of land near the town of Nyngan, in the state of New South Wales (NSW).
The plant is supported by the state government and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), has been in planning for four years, and has an expected completion date of mid-2015.
Once complete, the 102 MW Nyngan Solar Plant will produce enough electricity to power more than 33,000 homes, offsetting over 203,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. That’s equivalent to taking more than 53,000 cars off the roads.
“Breaking ground at the Nyngan solar project is a significant milestone for the advancement of Australia’s utility-scale solar industry,” said Jack Curtis, First Solar’s Vice President of Business Development for Asia Pacific.
“Each project that First Solar constructs builds acceptance of and confidence in utility-scale solar as an effective source of power generation in Australia. 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 will begin construction on another utility-scale solar project supported by ARENA and the NSW government in Broken Hill later in 2014.