Project Overview

The Manildra Solar Farm will occupy 120 Ha of land approximately 1 km east of Manildra in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. The project will further diversify NSW’s energy portfolio and create a number of jobs at construction peak. The 48.5MW project will be powered by more than 466,000 First Solar advanced thin film PV modules, producing enough solar energy to power 14,000 homes and displace the equivalent of more than 91,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year.

In addition to supplying the solar modules for this project, First Solar is providing Asset Management and Operations and Maintenance services.


Project Benefits

Enough to power 14,000 average homes

  • Displaces 91,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually—equivalent to taking 24,000 cars off the road
  • Lowest environmental impact of any PV technology
  • No water used for electricity generation
  • Significant economic and environmental benefits for regional NSW


Environmental Benefits

First Solar is committed to the communities in which it operates and will strive to minimise environmental impact while maximising clean energy output. When in operation, our systems generate electricity with no water use, no air emissions, and no waste production, with the smallest carbon footprint of any PV technology available. The Monthly Environmental Inspection Reports are available in the document list to the right.


Project Status

The Manildra Solar Farm supports Australia in its efforts toward providing 23.5 per cent of its energy from renewable resources by 2020, while further establishing regional NSW as a leader in renewable energy. The development of the Manildra Solar Farm is on track and construction is scheduled to commence in the first half of 2017.

In September, the Manildra Solar Farm progressed from the pre-construction activities to full project construction with the mobilisation of heavy equipment to commence the site civil earthworks, preparing the site for the installation of the 21,000 piles that support the module frames and PV modules. 


Simultaneously, Packham Drive upgrade works are underway with a forecast completion of this component by mid to end October. 


The site delineation has commenced with the perimeter and bio-diversity area fencing underway. Major equipment orders have been placed, with a cross section of these materials received in Sydney and sent by rail to Parkes. With the availability of materials in Parkes, the project expects to commence with pile and frame installation toward the end of October.


November Progress


In November, the Manildra Solar Farm has commenced with all aspects of plant construction including post, tracker and PV module installation .  Bulk earthworks and internal roads are progressing well and civil works are on target for completion early 2018.  November saw completion of the Packham Drive upgrade works with safe delivery of bulk project materials to the site increased in frequency as the project materials arrive in country.


Upgrade works to the Manildra Zone Substation are progressing to schedule with the substation ready to receive the solar farm feeders before the end of the year.  The first major components are scheduled to arrive mid December, with the installation of the Operations and Maintenance Building and the PVIS building housing the switchgear to follow.


The application for Community Fund to support location initiatives was rolled out in November and evaluations are in progress


Community Fund Applications Open

The project, through its Community Engagement Plan, is committed to reinvesting in the local community through the Manildra Solar Farm community fund, a managed development fund supporting community based initiatives, projects and events that target a range of community needs including environment, education, youth, social, culture, sport, recreation and economic development.

With the recent commencement of the construction phase, the Manildra Solar Farm is calling for submissions from the community to identify community initiatives that align with the fund’s guidelines. The application guidelines and full submission forms can be found in the document list to the right.