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First Solar opens utility-scale power plant

 
 

Solar module maker First Solar on Monday opened the largest photovoltaic solar power station in California, which the company plans to replicate in order to expand its utility business.

The plant in Blythe, Calif., which First Solar purchased from energy developer NRG, will have the capacity to generate 21 megawatts of electricity, or enough to power about 17,000 homes. It will supply electricity to Southern California Edison under a 20-year purchase power agreement.

It’s one of a number of projects that First Solar is pursuing as it seeks to expand in the utility-scale solar business. A deal to build a 48-megawatt plant in California to supply Pacific Gas & Electric was approved last week. “The development, project finance and construction of this solar plant demonstrate First Solar’s capabilities in utility scale projects,” Bruce Sohn, president of First Solar, said in a statement.

First Solar’s panels, which use thin film solar cells made from cadmium telluride, are considered the lowest cost solar panel in the industry. The company’s relatively low cost and the technology’s track record make it attractive to utilities that need to meet the California renewable energy mandate.

Source: Martin LaMonica

 
 

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