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23 December 2008


First Solar completes 10MW CdTe PV plant for Sempra

First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA, which manufactures thin-film photovoltaic modules based on cadmium telluride (CdTe), has completed its first 10MW ground-mounted photovoltaic power plant for Sempra Generation near Boulder City, NV. The $40m project is said to be the largest thin-film solar power plant in North America.

Sited adjacent to Sempra’s existing 480MW El Dorado Energy combined-cycle natural gas power plant (about 40 miles southeast of Las Vegas), the plant will serve customers in California and the western USA. By co-locating it with existing infrastructure and the associated interconnection and transmission facilities, the firm aimed to optimize its use of land and transmission, so that the impact to the immediate environment would be minimal and the project completion timeline would be shorter. Construction only began in July.

First Solar served as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor, using modules produced at its manufacturing facility in Perrysburg, OH. Although the plant will be owned and operated by Sempra Generation, First Solar will also provide monitoring and maintenance services over its lifetime. As well as being the biggest supplier of thin-film PV modules, the firm stresses its commitment to product life-cycle management, claiming the solar industry’s first comprehensive module end-of-life collection and recycling program.

“The build out of this 10MW solar power plant from start to finish in less than six months marks the successful completion of our first utility-scale EPC project,” says John Carrington, First Solar’s executive VP marketing & business development.

“This is a significant step in the development and deployment of renewable solar power,” claims Sempra’s president & CEO Michael W. Allman. “It reflects the commitment by Sempra Generation and western US utilities to meet the challenges posed by climate change with reliable, renewable energy,” he adds. “The size and scope of this new solar generation facility clearly demonstrates that we can build projects on a scale that helps utilities meet their renewable energy goals.”

See related items:

First Solar completes 2MW plant for Southern California Edison

First Solar more than doubles revenue and income year-on-year

First Solar breaks ground on Ohio CdTe PV expansion

First Solar to expand manufacturing and development facilities in Ohio

First Solar announces two solar projects with Southern California Edison

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