By James Paton
First Solar Inc. (FSLR), the biggest maker of thin-film panels, said Australia is four years behind the U.S. in building large solar farms and expects its project with General Electric Co. (GE) to help spur the industry’s expansion.
First Solar is supplying panels to the 10-megawatt Greenough River project in Western Australia, the nation’s first large-scale solar plant. The GE- and Verve Energy-owned solar project, which started this month, may increase capacity to as much as 40 megawatts, the companies said Oct. 10.
“This is less about the size and more about the fact that we now have a utility-scale solar project in Australia,” Jack Curtis, First Solar’s Sydney-based vice president of business development, said in a phone interview. “The local industry can now look to this project and see they can be developed, that they can be executed. It will provide local operational data that can be used to bring the rest of the industry along.”
The Tempe, Arizona-based company estimates as much as 3,000 megawatts to 5,000 megawatts of solar photovoltaic plants may be built in Australia from 2015 to 2020 as the country moves toward a target of getting 20 percent of its power from renewables by the end of the decade, Curtis said yesterday.
Also: First Solar to build Dubai power plant/Phoenix Business Journal
First Solar to build Dubai power plant/Phoenix Business Journal
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