First Solar Inc. is supplying more than 860,000 high-performance thin film modules to power a 100-MW alternating-current utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) solar power plant developed by Zorlu Enerji in Pakistan. The independent power producer facility, part of the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park in the country’s Punjab province, is expected to be completed and connected to the electricity grid by the first half of 2018.
When completed, the plant will increase Zorlu Enerji’s installed capacity in the country to 156.4 MW, a portfolio that includes a 56.4-MW wind farm completed in 2013. The facility will generate an estimated 180 million kWh of electricity per year for Pakistan’s Central Power Purchasing Agency, under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA).
"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, CEO 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 2017, 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. In addition to selling PV modules in these markets, Zorlu Solar is undertaking its own project development activity, powering its successful projects with First Solar technology.