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Published on April 17th, 2012 | by Joshua S Hill

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Australia’s Largest Solar PV Project Continues Apace



 
Construction of Australia’s largest solar photovoltaic power project has reached a major milestone with the initiation of panel installation at the Greenough River Solar Farm in Western Australia.

“The demonstration of this proven technology in WA on a commercial scale should encourage the development of larger projects and reduce renewable energy costs in the medium to long term,” said Western Australian Energy Minister, Peter Collier, who joined with landholders, members of the Geraldton community and local contractors and First Solar, Inc., Verve Energy, and GE Energy Financial Services to mark the commencement of panel installation.

The 10-megawatt solar farm is located 50 kilometres south of Geraldton, with construction starting four months ago. Since then, above-ground electrical work has been completed and structural supports have been installed. Next on the list of things to do is to install approximately 150,000 First Solar photovoltaic modules, with completion of the project expected sometime in the middle of this year.

“The successful delivery of the Greenough River Solar Farm will help kick-off a long-term, sustainable market for utility-scale solar in Australia. First Solar has a strong record of successful project delivery, enhanced by working with local communities to ensure projects make a meaningful and lasting contribution,” said Jack Curtis, Vice President — Business Development & Sales, First Solar.

“When in operation, First Solar’s panels produce electricity with no water use, no waste production and no CO2 emissions,” Mr. Curtis added.

“GE Energy Financial Services sees Australia as a key growth market that will continue to need capital to fuel its expanding renewable energy industry. We hope this is the first of many such milestones in the country,” said Jason Willoughby, GE Energy Financial Services’ Australia business leader. “With our strong partners, Verve Energy and First Solar, we are pleased to help make this landmark solar project a reality.”

“The Greenough River Solar Farm is providing valuable experience for Verve Energy in the development of solar energy in WA,” said Tony Narvaez, General Manager, Strategy & Business Development, Verve Energy. “This experience will be very useful when Verve Energy pursues its aim to develop other solar farm projects in the near future.”

Source: General Electric Company
Image Source: Greenough River Solar Farm

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About the Author

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, a liberal left-winger, and believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I work as Associate Editor for the Important Media Network and write for CleanTechnica and Planetsave. I also write for Fantasy Book Review (.co.uk), Amazing Stories, the Stabley Times and Medium.   I love words with a passion, both creating them and reading them.



  • Luke

    10MW ain’t very big for a grid scale plant, and I’d prefer to see it going on roofs, but any solar is good solar!

    • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Agreed & agreed. :D

      But have to start somewhere. And need solar anywhere we can get it, but would be good if some govts focused on stimulating decentralized solar more.

  • http://ronaldbrak.blogspot.com.au/ Ronald Brak

    I don’t understand why they didn’t use the money to build an even greater amount of capacity point of use. It takes very little encouragement to get a home owner or business to install solar power on their roofs these days, so the $50 million that the solar farm cost would have gone a very long way. But then, we don’t always do things the most efficient way here in Australia.

    • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

      or anywhere in the world :P

      • RobS

        I agree that if you gave this 50 million as 50,000 $1000 dollar rebates in addition to the RECs available than 50,000 people would chip in a few thousand dollars of their own to put a system on their roof and you would turn 50 million into ~200 million worth or solar capacity. By putting it on roofs you use no public land, generate power at the point of use reducing the requirement for new distribution capacity and there is good evidence that people who install home solar become more aware of energy usage patterns and significantly decrease their consumption further magnifying the benefits.

        • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

          I’m definitely into it.

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