Nevada Gold Mines going with First Solar to decarbonize operations


First Solar solar PV modules are going to power 17 percent of the annual energy needs of Nevada Gold Mines (NGM), the single largest gold‐producing complex in the world. NGM is a joint venture between Barrick Gold Corporation and Newmont Corporation that is operated by Barrick.

NGM, which produces approximately 3.5 million ounces of gold a year, is investing in building a solar power plant as part of a broader effort to decarbonize its operations and minimize its environmental footprint. As part of the deal, which was booked prior to the release of First Solar’s Q4 and Full Year 2021 earnings in February, 260 megawatts (MW)DC of solar modules manufactured by First Solar in Ohio will be deployed to power the new 200 MWAC facility in the second quarter of 2023.

Barrick has committed to a 30 percent greenhouse gas reduction by 2030, with the goal of net‐zero operations by 2050. NGM will support Barrick’s targets and has set an intermediate goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2025, compared to its 2018 baseline. This is expected to be achieved by the solar power plant and conversion of NGM’s coal fired power plant to cleaner burning natural gas.

“When we selected our solar module technology partner, we did so with very careful consideration. We made the choice to contract with a supplier who shares our values, including a commitment to fair labor practices and investment in American manufacturing and American jobs. By partnering with First Solar we also found an innovator that can deliver high performance solar panels with the lowest carbon footprint and the best environmental profile available today,” said Greg Walker, NGM executive managing director.

First Solar’s thin film PV modules are designed and developed at its research and development (R&D) centers in California and Ohio. First Solar also operates an advanced recycling program that recovers more than 90 percent of CadTel for use in new modules.

“NGM is part of a growing wave of customers that are unwilling to compromise on quality or their principles, and choose to partner with First Solar,” says Georges Antoun, chief commercial officer, First Solar. “They partnered with us because we can deliver a high performance module that comes without the social, environmental, and political risks that are, unfortunately, associated with too many solar manufacturers today.”

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