10 April 2012

Enbridge acquires 50MW Nevada solar project from First Solar

First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA, which makes thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules based on cadmium telluride (CdTe), says that energy distributor Enbridge Inc of Calgary, Alberta, Canada has acquired a 100% stake in the 50MW (AC) Silver State North photovoltaic (PV) project that First Solar has developed and constructed on about 600 acres of land in Clark County, NV, USA, near the community of Primm.

“Silver State North marks Enbridge’s entry into the US solar energy market and demonstrates Enbridge’s continuing commitment to growing its green energy business, while delivering attractive returns and stable cash flows,” says the firm’s VP, green energy, Don Thompson. “The US solar market presents significant growth opportunities given the excellent solar resource, supportive regulatory environment and expanding portfolio of solar energy projects.”

Located 40 miles south of Las Vegas, Silver State North was constructed under a fixed-price engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) agreement with First Solar, and is expected to begin commercial operation by May. First Solar will provide operations and maintenance services to Enbridge under a long-term contract. NV Energy will purchase the energy output under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) approved in 2010 by the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada.

“We have been impressed with First Solar's strong technical competence and attention to meaningful community engagement practices that align with Enbridge’s values,” comments Thompson.

“We are very proud to have completed construction of the first utility-scale PV solar project on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land in Nevada, which would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of county, state and BLM officials,” says Frank De Rosa, First Solar’s senior VP for business development, the Americas.

Using over 800,000 of First Solar’s CdTe PV modules, Silver State North will generate 122,000MWh annually, enough to supply about 9000 average Nevada homes per year and displacing about 42,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) - equivalent to taking about 8000 cars off the road. The project will also contribute to helping Enbridge meet its Neutral Footprint commitment to generate a kilowatt of renewable energy for every kilowatt of conventional electricity that its operations consume.

The project complements Enbridge's growing portfolio of renewable and alternative energy technologies, which now includes interests in four solar projects. The firm’s total investments in renewable energy have the capacity to produce almost 1000MW annually.

First Solar says that it will recognize revenue from Silver State North after final testing and commissioning, which is expected in second-quarter 2012.

Tags: First Solar Thin-film photovoltaic CdTe

Visit: www.enbridge.com

Visit: www.firstsolar.com

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