First Solar Inc. (FSLR) announced today that it has been awarded the module supply contract for the 140-megawatt Sun Metals Solar Farm in North Queensland, Australia.
The project marks the largest solar initiative by the country and, once constructed, is set to utilize more than 1.16 million First Solar advanced thin-film photovoltaic modules to produce approximately 270,000 megawatt-hours of energy in its first year of operation.
‘Most Cost-Effective Source of Energy’ in Australia
The new utility-scale solar project will be located about 10 miles south of Townsville, supplying electricity to the Sun Metals zinc refinery, the world’s leader in metal processing technology, which is a member of the Korea Zinc Group.
“Large-scale solar is fast becoming one of the most cost-effective sources of energy generation in Australia. This project represents the viability of the commercial and industrial solar market in Australia, and the growing trend of major energy consumers owning and operating renewable energy assets,” said Jack Curtis, First Solar’s regional manager for Asia Pacific.
A Boom in Global Demand
First Solar is the leading module supplier for large-scale solar projects in Australia, as it boasts higher-energy-yield technology specifically for hot and humid climates. Once the project is completed, the company says it is expected to generate enough solar energy to displace approximately 248,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, or the equivalent of about 66,000 cars off the road.
Also this week, First Solar announced the completion of four solar farms in Thailand, developed under Thailand’s Governmental Agency and its Agricultural Program. As solar is set to become the world’s largest energy source by 2050, we can expect utility-scale market leader First Solar to continue to land large contracts with governments and other organizations worldwide. (See also: 2017: A Turning Point for the Solar Industry.)