Australia: First Solar starts work on 10 MW PV plant

Set to be located 50 kilometers south of Geraldton, Western Australia, on 80 hectares of private, cleared land, construction on the project is expected to be undertaken over a nine month period.

While civil work commenced last Friday, First Solar says that the first thin film modules will be installed next March. Over 150,000 will be installed in total.

Overall, the plant is expected to be fully-operational by mid-2012. First Solar is supplying both the photovoltaic modules, and its engineering, procurement and construction services to the Greenough River Solar Farm. Meanwhile, state power utility, Verve Energy, and GE Energy Financial Services each own 50 percent of it.

Funding is coming from the Western Australia Government, which is providing AUD$20 million; half of this is coming from the WA Royalties for Regions program.

"Through the partnership with local contractor WBHO Civil, and in the sourcing of local products, the project is expected to generate millions of dollars for the City of Greater Geraldton’s economy," said First Solar in a statement released.

It added, "Up to 150 people will be onsite at any one time throughout the construction phase, with jobs lasting for up to nine months."