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First Solar Signs Agreements With Major Energy Utilities to Provide Solar Power


First Solar Inc. has recently announced that it will start working on a huge photovoltaic project called Desert Sunlight in Southern California.

The facility will produce 550MW from solar power, of which 300 MW will be sold to California’s Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and 250 MW to Southern California Edison (SCE). The solar facility is expected to be up and running by 2013.

The 550 MW of solar power will be obtained using the company’s thin-film photovoltaic modules made from cadmium telluride and will be able to power 160,000 homes. First Solar is not a beginner in PV power plants, as they recently finished the construction of the second largest PV power plant in the US, a 21-MW plant in Blythe which also provides power to SCE.

On the other hand, SCE continues its trend to increase renewable power production, and the company just signed a contract with SunPower Corporation for up to 200 MW of solar panels that will be installed over the rooftops of commercial buildings. PG&E has been in very close contact with Agua Caliente Solar, a subsidiary of NextLight Renewable Power, for 290 MW of PV power. The Agua Caliente project will be located in Yuma County, Arizona and is expected to be fully operational by 2014, even though production will start by mid 2012.

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