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Fri September 25 2020

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Australia starts on its biggest solar scheme

31 Aug 11 Work has started on Australia’s first utility-scale solar power project. The solar farm will be 10 times larger than any other operating solar project in the country.

Output from the 10MW AC project on 80 hectares in Western Australia will contribute to offsetting the energy requirements of the Southern Seawater Desalination Plant.

Western Australian state-owned power utility Verve Energy and GE Energy Financial Services will each own 50% of the Greenough River Solar Farm, with the WA Government also providing AU$20m (£13m). First Solar will supply more than 150,000 of its advanced thin film photovoltaic (PV) modules and provide engineering, procurement and construction services, in addition to operations and maintenance support once the solar farm is operational. 

The WA Water Corporation, which is building the Southern Seawater Desalination Plant, has committed to purchase 100% of the solar farm’s output.

“This announcement demonstrates the significant potential for renewable energy generation – especially utility-scale solar in WA and throughout Australia,” said Jim Brown, who will become president of the Utility Systems Business Group for First Solar on 1 September. “We’re pleased to bring our expertise in advanced PV technology and utility-scale solar deployment to Verve Energy and GE Energy Financial Services to deliver this groundbreaking project.”

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