Developed at R&D labs in California and Ohio, First Solar’s advanced thin film photovoltaic (PV) modules represent the next generation of solar technologies, providing a competitive, high-performance, lower-carbon alternative to conventional crystalline silicon PV panels.

Nevada Gold Mines (NGM) is investing in a 200-megawatt (MW) solar power plant designed to accelerate its decarbonization program in line with the Barrick Gold Corporation’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Roadmap. NGM is majority owned and operated by Barrick.

NGM said it is partnering with First Solar to manufacture all modules required to support the construction, entirely in the United States.

NGM has commenced detailed engineering and expects to begin construction in the third quarter of 2022. The modules supplied by First Solar are expected to be delivered in the beginning of the second quarter of 2023 and will power both phases of the power plant.

Ensuring that the selected contract partner for this project fully supported NGM’s values was a top priority for the company. NGM chose to contract with a supplier who is committed to fair labor practices, investing in American manufacturing and American jobs, and is one which will deliver high performance solar panels with the lowest carbon footprint and the best environmental profile available today. Although this process has been time-consuming, it has allowed the company to optimize the project schedule to commission both phase I and phase II by early 2024.

NGM has committed to a 20% carbon reduction by 2025. This will be achieved through the 200-MW solar array construction and the conversion of NGM’s coal fired power plant to cleaner burning natural gas.

“The project is the latest in a series of carbon-reducing initiatives across the group’s global operations,” Barrick Group Sustainability Executive Grant Beringer said. “The solar power plant will complement the transition of NGM’s coal power plant to a dual fuel process, which will enable it to generate electricity from natural gas, reducing carbon emissions by as much as 50%.” 

NGM has a strong focus on environmental management practices and is a committed custodian of the unique lands, waters, flora, and fauna within the state of Nevada. Barrick is targeting an overall 30% reduction in emissions by 2030 against its 2018 baseline with the goal of achieving net-zero by 2050.