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25 March 2009


First Solar to develop 30MW CdTe PV plant for Tri-State

First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA, which makes thin-film photovoltaic modules based on cadmium telluride (CdTe), has entered into a 25-year power purchase agreement with Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc, a wholesale electric power supplier serving more than 1.4 million consumers through 44 electric cooperatives and public power districts in Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming.

“This photovoltaic (PV) power plant is another demonstration of our ability to provide affordable, utility-scale solar solutions,” says John Carrington, executive VP of marketing & business development. "In addition to being cost-effective, the plant will create 120 -140 construction jobs, significantly reduce green house gas emissions and provide enough power to serve the equivalent of approximately 9000 homes,” he adds.

The agreement, which represents the largest PV contract by an electric cooperative in the US, calls for First Solar to engineer, procure and construct (EPC) a 30 megawatt AC (MW) ground-mounted PV power plant in north-eastern New Mexico.

“Our partnership with First Solar further diversifies our resource mix and brings value to our member cooperatives across our four-state service territory,” says Tri-State’s executive VP & general manager Ken Anderson. “This project in New Mexico demonstrates how electric cooperatives can effectively bring utility-scale solar projects to the rural areas they serve,” he adds.

The project will be the first utility-scale solar power plant in the region and is expected to be complete by the end of 2010. First Solar will provide monitoring and maintenance services for the plant over the course of its lifetime. The firm expects that, upon the plant’s completion, it will have transferred all or substantially all of its equity interest in the project.

“This first-of-its-kind initiative is further evidence that New Mexico is a national leader in renewable energy production,” claims US Senator Jeff Bingaman, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

See related items:

First Solar surpasses 1GW of CdTe PV module production

First Solar to acquire multi-Gigawatt utility-scale PV project business

CdTe PV maker First Solar passes $1 per Watt milestone

First Solar to supply CdTe PV modules for first carbon-neutral city

Search: First Solar Thin-film photovoltaic modules CdTe