US-based vertically integrated manufacturer First Solar is to supply thin-film modules to a 100MW(AC) solar project developed by Zorlu Enerji in Pakistan.
The project, part of the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park in Punjab province, will include 860,000 modules and is expected to be completed and connected to the grid by the first half of 2018.
The plant has a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Pakistan’s Central Power Purchasing Agency. It will generate an estimated 180 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year – the equivalent of powering roughly 140,000 homes.
In the country, Zorlu Enerji also has a 56.4MW wind farm that was completed in 2013.
“We are confident that First Solar’s advanced PV modules will thrive in Bahawalpur’s desert conditions, delivering over 8% more energy than conventional crystalline-silicon panels, and enabling our successful bid for a PPA,” said Sinan Ak, chief executive of Zorlu Enerji. “We are also confident that we will set a new benchmark for solar energy in Pakistan, replicating the standards we set with our award-winning Jhimpir wind power plant. There is no doubt in my mind that this project will be a new milestone for the development of utility-scale solar in the country.”
In February this year, First Solar and Zorlu Holding signed a collaborative sales agreement under which Zorlu Solar became a major distributor of First Solar’s modules in Turkey, Afghanistan, Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Pakistan, Romania, Serbia, Turkmenistan, the Ukraine, and the Commonwealth of Independent States.