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25 October 2012

First Solar installs millionth PV module at Topaz Solar Farms project

First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA, which manufactures thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules based on cadmium telluride (CdTe) as well as providing engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services, and energy services provider MidAmerican Solar say that earlier this month the one millionth solar module was installed at the Topaz Solar Farms project, located in San Luis Obispo County, CA, USA. This comes less than six months after the installation of the first module.

Construction of the plant began in late 2011 and is expected to be complete by early 2015. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will purchase the electricity from the project under a 25-year power purchase agreement, helping California meet its mandate to generate 33% of its power from renewable sources by 2020. On completion, the plant will produce 550MWAC of power from nearly nine million PV modules, and will provide PG&E with enough renewable energy to power approximately 160,000 California homes. Electricity generated by the project will displace approximately 377,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, the equivalent of taking approximately 73,000 cars off the road. The project currently employs more than 800 workers at the site and is expected to provide approximately 400 construction jobs on average during its three-year construction period.

“The installation of the one millionth module is a major accomplishment for everyone involved with the project,” said Paul Caudill, president of MidAmerican Solar. “Construction on Topaz Solar Farms began less than one year ago. Since then, we have worked as a team to ensure that as our top priority, we meet our commitments to the residents of San Luis Obispo County. We remain committed to safely constructing an environmentally friendly facility that will deliver reliable renewable energy to our customer, Pacific Gas and Electric Company.”

First Solar says that its thin-film PV modules generate electricity with no emissions, waste or water use and its systems have the smallest carbon footprint of any PV technology in the market. Each module is approximately 4-feet-by-2-feet and weighs 27.5 pounds.

See related items:

First solar panel installed on world’s largest PV project

MidAmerican and First Solar start major construction on world’s largest solar project

Tags: First Solar Thin-film photovoltaic CdTe



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