First Solar Inc. has joined project owners Verve Energy and GE unit GE Energy Financial Services to mark the commencement of panel installation at the Greenough River Solar Farm in Geraldton, Western Australia. According to the companies, this 10 MW project will be the largest PV installation in Australia.
With above-ground electrical work completed and structural supports now installed, the next phase of construction will see local workers install approximately 150,000 First Solar PV modules. Completion is scheduled for the middle of this year.
Western Australian state-owned power utility Verve Energy and GE Energy Financial Services each own 50% of the installation. The Western Australia government has provided $20 million AUD in funding, including $10 million AUD from the WA Royalties for Regions program.
No debt has been raised to fund the project. First Solar is supplying its advanced thin-film PV modules and engineering, procurement and construction services, in addition to operations and maintenance support once the solar farm is operational. The WA Water Corp., which is building the Southern Seawater Desalination Plant near Binningup, has committed to purchasing 100% of the solar farm's output.