Australia: First Solar to install 159 MW of PV

The thin film company will design, construct and maintain, for five years, the two utility-scale plants for AGL Energy Limited. Having been selected under the solar flagships program, AGL, the majority owner of the project vehicle, will reportedly receive both federal and state government funding to support construction. The funding amount was not disclosed.

According to a statement released by First Solar, AGL will develop a 106 MW plant in New South Wales’ (NSW) Nyngan, and a 53 MW plant in Broken Hill, also in NSW. The generated electricity will be sold to AGL subsidiary, AGL Hydro Partnership, under power purchase agreements.

Work is scheduled to begin on both plants in 2014, and commercial operations should begin in 2015. Around 450 jobs are expected to be created at peak construction.

"This is a significant step forward for the utility-scale solar industry in Australia – an order of magnitude increase in project size – and a testimony to the confidence our customers have in First Solar technology and its performance in some of the hottest and harshest conditions in the world," commented Jim Hughes, First Solar CEO.