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16/5/2018 — Alternative Energy
Downer wins solar farm contract

The engineering, procurement and construction contract for a new solar farm in New South Wales has been awarded to Downer EDI Ltd (ASX & NZX: DOW).

The contract, worth about $A150 million ($NZ162.8 M) was awarded by the First Solar group for the 87 MW Beryl solar farm, about five kilometres west of Gulgong.

“Large scale projects are critical to our regional communities and we are looking forward to partnering with First Solar to deliver the Beryl solar farm that will see significant economic and environmental benefits in regional NSW,” said Downer chief executive Grant Fenn.

“This includes direct and indirect job creation, support for local businesses, and the development of skills in a growing renewable sector.” Commented First Solar’s vice president of Asia Pacific, Steven Jackson.

He said the Beryl solar farm will be one of the first large scale renewable projects to use First Solar’s Series 6 thin-film photovoltaic modules. Series 6 modules deliver more watts per connection than crystalline silicon modules.

Downer said this would enable it to realise construction cost savings while maximising the energy production for the project site, resulting in a “lower levelised cost of energy.”

When in operation, the Beryl solar farm will see electricity generated with no water use, no air emissions, and no waste production, with the smallest carbon footprint of any PV technology available. It will produce energy to run about 25,000 average NSW homes.

The contract is expected to take Downer about 12 months to complete.

First Solar Inc is said to be a leading global provider of photovoltaic (PV) solar systems.

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