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9 February 2017

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

Cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film photovoltaic module maker First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA has been awarded the module supply contract for the 140MWDC Sun Metals Solar Farm in North Queensland (QLD) which, once constructed, will be Australia's largest solar project and utilize more than 1,167,000 First Solar modules to produce about 270,000 megawatt-hours of energy in its first year of operation. Situated 15km south of Townsville, the project will supply electricity to the Sun Metals zinc refinery, which is a member of the metal processing technology firm Korea Zinc Group.

"Large-scale solar is fast becoming one of the most cost-effective sources of energy generation in Australia," says Jack Curtis, First Solar's regional manager for Asia Pacific. "This project represents the viability of the commercial and industrial solar market in Australia, and the growing trend of major energy consumers owning and operating renewable energy assets."

First Solar claims that, with a track record across the solar value chain in Australia, it is the country's leading module supplier for large-scale solar projects. The firm says that its technology has a higher energy yield than crystalline silicon technology in Australia due to its lower temperature coefficient, linear shading response and superior spectral response. This is of particular importance in hot and humid climates such as Townsville, and over the course of a project's operational life will translate to more energy output for Sun Metals.

Engineering, procurement & construction (EPC) of the project will be managed by RCR Tomlinson Ltd. "This is another milestone in our valued relationship with First Solar," says RCR's managing director & chief executive Paul Dalgleish. "RCR is a leader in the EPC delivery of large-scale solar farms, and the inclusion of First Solar's technology, with which we have extensive experience, will ensure the success of the project is maximized for all involved," he adds.

Construction is scheduled to begin in April. On completion, the project is expected to generate enough solar energy to displace about 248,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually (equivalent to taking nearly 66,000 cars off the road).

Tags: First Solar Thin-film photovoltaic CdTe

Visit: www.firstsolar.com

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