First Solar to deliver 48.5MW Manildra solar farm

First Solar has reached financial close for the 48.5MW Manildra solar farm in New South Wales.

The Manildra solar farm will be made up of about 466,000 of First Solar’s thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules and single-axis tracking technology.

The ARENA-backed project is expected to produce more than 120,000MWh of electricity in its first year of operation.

First Solar has entered into a 13-year power purchase agreement with EnergyAustralia for the generated electricity and large-scale generation certificates.

“Today’s milestone is a testament to the ability and experience of First Solar’s development and delivery team, and we congratulate ARENA and EnergyAustralia on their commitment to commercially viable projects,” First Solar regional manager of Asia Pacific Jack Curtis said.

“We have witnessed unprecedented cost reductions in large-scale solar in recent years.

“As the appetite for this asset class continues to grow, timely and reliable project delivery will be the strongest driver of future cost reductions, cementing solar as a competitive energy source in Australia.”

EnergyAustralia managing director Catherine Tanna said customers rightly expect access to reliable, affordable and cleaner supplies of energy.

“The Manildra Solar Farm is a great example of the projects that will underpin the future of energy in Australia and we’re proud to be partnering with First Solar to bring it to market,” Ms Tanna said.

Construction is scheduled to commence in the first half of 2017.

The Manildra solar farm will take First Solar’s installed capacity in Australia to more than 400MWAC when it is complete in 2018.