Construction has started on the Finley Solar Farm in New South Wales, Australia, a 175-MW new utility-scale renewable energy project expected to be built by July of this year. Australian utility-scale solar farm developer ESCO Pacific tapped Signal Energy Australia to build the facility.

The solar plant will be built on approximately 404 hectares of grazing, crop and irrigated lands near Finley. Over 490,000 of Canadian Solar’s 1500V high-efficiency KuMax modules (CS3U-P) will be installed on single-axis solar tracking systems. When completed, it will produce enough electricity to meet the needs of more than 90,000 NSW homes.

The project also calls for installing more than 490,000 of Canadian Solar’s 1500V high-efficiency KuMax modules on single-axis tracking systems. When the farm is completed, it should displace more than 400,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, Canadian Solar said.

Dr. Shawn Qu, chairman, and CEO of Canadian Solar said: “We are delighted to be selected by ESCO Pacific to provide EPC services to supply our 1500V crystalline module to this large-scale solar power plant. This further expands our presence and solidifies our competitive position in Australia. We are committed to providing customers in Australia and around the world with access to clean, affordable and reliable solar energy.”

“We are excited about establishing ourselves in the Australian renewable energy market,” said Greg Pawson, president of Signal Energy.

Last July, Australian steel producer BlueScope signed a 7-year PPA with ESCO Pacific. The contract, for 66% of the Finley Solar Farm’s output including large-scale generation certificates, became the largest corporate PPA with a solar farm in the country.

“This PPA is one of Australia’s largest corporate offtake agreements, which provide the reliable electricity supply we need for manufacturing processes that must operate 24/7,” BlueScope’s chief executive of Australian steel products John Nowlan said. “The PPA will help keep downward pressure on our energy costs, and will support the gradual transition to renewable energy.”

BlueScope makes branded coated and painted steel products and is the third largest manufacturer of painted and coated steel products in the world.

“We have continued our drive to pursue an ever-decreasing environmental footprint by directing our efforts to reduce consumption, reusing materials, and recycling,” the company’s managing director and CEO Mark Vassella said in announcing BlueScope’s FY2018 sustainability report. “This is achieved through all kinds of programs focused on efficiency, cost and waste reduction, and adoption of renewables.”