First Solar, Inc. has been awarded the module supply contract for the 140 megawatt (MW)DC Sun Metals Solar Farm in North Queensland (QLD), Australia. It will be Australia's largest solar project once constructed, and use more than 1,167,000 First Solar advanced thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules to produce approximately 270,000 megawatt-hours of energy in its first year of operation. Situated 15 kilometers south of Townsville, the project will supply electricity to the Sun Metals zinc refinery, which is a member of the Korea Zinc Group and a world leader in metal processing technology.
With a proven track record across the solar value chain in Australia, First Solar is also the country's leading module supplier for large-scale solar projects.
First Solar technology has a higher energy yield than crystalline silicon technology in Australiadue to its lower temperature coefficient, linear shading response and superior spectral response. This advantage is of particular importance in hot and humid climates such as Townsville, and over the course of a project's operational life will translate to more energy output for Sun Metals.
RCR Tomlinson Limited will manage the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the project. Construction is scheduled to commence in April 2017.
On completion, the project is expected to generate enough solar energy to displace approximately 248,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, the equivalent of taking nearly 66,000 cars off the road.