The IXL Group of companies has won a contract from First Solar to manufacture and deliver the framing system for the two utility-scale solar PV projects totalling 155MW (AC) at Nyngan and Broken Hill in New South Wales.
Under the contract, Backwell IXL will provide components to be used in the framing system, which will require around 6,000t of Australian-made steel, and build much of the manufacturing infrastructure, while IXL Solar will assemble the systems in Adelaide and ship the completed frames to the site.
First Solar vice-president of business development for Asia Pacific Jack Curtis said the company has engaged IXL for the project because of its proven experience and reliability in delivering the framing system for the Greenough River solar farm.
Curtis said: "Our continued selection of local supply chain providers validates the economic viability of producing solar components in Australia and will continue to help support Australian industry and job creation.
"Partnering with IXL will further enable First Solar to reduce the cost of delivering solar power to the Australia market through the efficiencies that come from working on multiple projects."
The 102MW Nyngan solar plant will be built on 250 hectares of land located around 10km west of Nyngan, while the 53MW Broken Hill plant will be located around 5km south-west of Broken Hill and will occupy around 200 hectares of land.
The Nyngan and Broken Hill plants will feature over 1,350,000 and 650,000 First Solar advanced cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin film PV modules, respectively, and the modules will be installed at a fixed (non-tracking) tilt, at a 25 degree angle, and will face north.
First Solar has received a contract from AGL Energy to provide engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services for the plants as well as maintain the plant for five years after commercial operation starts.
The solar projects are likely to generate around 360,000MWh of electricity each year, which is enough to meet the needs of more than 50,000 average homes.
In July 2013, AGL Energy achieved financial close for the projects in respect of funding agreements with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the New South Wales Government.
Image: Nyngan and Broken Hill plants will feature First Solar PV modules. Photo: courtesy of AGL Energy.