First Solar has begun construction on what will be Australia’s first utility-scale PV project once it reaches completions, Located near Geraldton, the 10MW (AC) Greenough River Solar Farm will be built over a nine-month period, with local civil contractor WBHO Civil providing Phase 1 construction services. Civil work on the project began November 4, with on-site construction for structural supports and above ground electrical work following soon.
First Solar will be providing over 150,000 of its thin-film PV modules for the project, with delivery of the modules anticipated to begin in March 2012. The solar company is additionally providing engineering, procurement and construction services for the installation, which aims to reach full operation by mid-2012.
"First Solar aims to maximize local hiring and enable the project to make a meaningful and lasting contribution to regional communities," said Jack Curtis, vice president of business development and sales for First Solar. "We are also building our in-country supply chain network by procuring as many materials as possible from local suppliers at all stages of the construction process.
Western Australia state-owned power utility, Verve Energy, and GE Energy Financial Services each own 50% of the solar farm. The WA government is additionally offering AUD$20 million, including AUD$10 million from the WA Royalties for Regions program.