The biggest thin film solar panel producer in the world, First Solar Inc. is planning to distribute electricity in New Mexico at a rate of 5.8 cents per kWh. In accord with First Solar’s Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) deal with El Paso Electric Company, the New Mexico grid would be supplied with their 50 MW Macho Springs installation, providing electricity at half the price of that of coal energy.
Analyst Aaron Chew of New York’s Maxim Group LLC stated that the Macho Springs electricity would provide electricity at effectively half the price for energy provided by First Solar’s other solar farms like the Topaz and Antelope Valley in California and Arizona’s Agua Caliente, becoming the lowest ever solar energy purchase agreement price.
The price would also be lower than the average electricity cost of 11.4 cents per kWh in the US. Also, electricity provided by thin film solar panels cost 16.3 cents per kWh, that is, nearly three times more than First Solar’s proposed New Mexico price.
However, it is likely that the company would receive some support from the state in this venture. Bloomberg Energy Finance analyst Anthony Kim confirmed this saying that the support would be in the form of a 30% investment tax credit for federal business energy.