The final solar photovoltaic (PV) module was recently installed at what is now Australia’s largest solar energy project — the 102 megawatt (MW) Nyngan Solar Plant in New South Wales. The solar power plant was developed by the noted company First Solar.
To be specific here, the power plant is now home to around 1.36 million solar PV modules — which will be used to provide enough electricity to power roughly 33,000 regional homes once at full capacity.
The project actually already began generating some electricity back in March — roughly 25% of generation from block 1 began then.
Speaking on the occasion of the completion, First Solar’s Regional Manager for Asia Pacific, Jack Curtis, stated:
First Solar’s modules have dramatically improved in efficiency in recent years and this project demonstrates the increasing commercial competitiveness of our technology.
These 1.36 million modules will have a higher energy yield than traditional crystalline silicon modules, particularly in hot climates, will produce no carbon emissions and will require no water during operation. Utility scale solar PV is already cost competitive with conventional generation in many parts of the world and will increasingly deliver economic stimulus to rural Australia without depleting natural resources.
Though now largely complete, the development of the Nyngan Solar Plant has resulted in the creation of a fair number of jobs, some temporary, some permanent — including 250 on-site jobs, and a higher number of associated jobs via off-site supply chain jobs.
“First Solar has pursued every opportunity to support local and regional businesses throughout the construction of the Nyngan Solar Plant,” Curtis continued. “In addition to boosting the local economy through job creation, First Solar supported Australian automotive parts manufactures who were exploring new business opportunities. They produced vital parts, like mounting structures, transformers and switchgear to the plant.”
Altogether, over 55% of the total Nyngan Solar Plant procurement was local.
Image Credit: First Solar