Historically, IXL’s metal stamping and roll-forming capability supplied the local automotive industry. Today, IXL has a dedicated business unit focused on producing structural components for solar projects. Located on a site of over 16,000 square metres with a building of 4000 square metres in Salisbury South in Adelaide’s northern suburbs, IXL’s new facility will produce approximately 100,000 mounting structures for the Nyngan and Broken Hill projects, using over 6000 tonnes of Australian-made steel. Production is now underway.
“As the solar industry continues to grow in Australia, there will be an increasing need and demand for a reliable and efficient local supplier base,” said Jack Curtis, First Solar’s Vice President of Business Development for Asia Pacific.
Continued utilization of local suppliers will not only reduce the cost of delivering solar power to Australia, but it will also create local jobs, develop regional skills and support more sustainable employment. Local procurement accounts for 56.3 per cent of First Solar’s total procurement spending on the Nyngan and Broken Hill projects, with over 450 direct construction jobs expected to be created and over $66 million spent on local equipment for both projects.
“The opening of our Adelaide manufacturing plant is another significant milestone in the development of our solar business,” said Claude Dagescy, IXL Solar’s General Manager.
As local automotive manufacturing declines, we have sought new business opportunities. Making mounting structures for First Solar has been a natural extension of our business and we believe Australian-made mounting systems can be more than competitive with imports. IXL’s ongoing work with First Solar demonstrates that.
IXL previously provided First Solar with a cost-effective, Australian-manufactured framing capability for the 10MW Greenough River Solar Farm (GRSF) in Western Australia in 2012. At the time, it was Australia’s first and largest utility-scale solar project. Two years later, the scale and footprint of the NSW projects demonstrate that utility-scale solar is becoming a proven, bankable source of power generation in Australia today.
“Solar is increasingly being recognized as a mainstream energy source globally,” said Shellie Molina, First Solar’s Vice President of Global Supply Chain.
Today’s announcement demonstrates that the renewable energy industry is a driver of investment, building economic and alternative business opportunities across Australia. The opening of the IXL manufacturing plant in Adelaide tells a positive story of job creation, the transfer and development of regional skills and sustainable industry development in Australia.
About the IXL Group
The IXL Group of companies has operations throughout Australia with its Head Office in Geelong, and has been in business since 1858. It is family owned, and today, in addition to IXL Solar, has operations in appliance marketing and distribution, appliance assembly, metal stamping and roll-forming and metal casting. For more information, see www.ixl.com.au and www.ixlsolar.com.au
About First Solar, Inc.
First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar systems which use its advanced module and system technology. The company’s integrated power plant solutions deliver an economically attractive alternative to fossil-fuel electricity generation today. From raw material sourcing through end-of-life module recycling, First Solar’s renewable energy systems protect and enhance the environment. For more information about First Solar, please visit www.firstsolar.com.
Photo credit : Wikipedia
ST Staff Writers
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.