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31 January 2013

First Solar acquires 50MWAC Macho Springs project from Element Power Solar

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, has acquired the 50MWAC Macho Springs solar project that Element Power Solar has developed in Luna County, NM on land leased from the New Mexico State Land Office.

Owned by Hudson Clean Energy Partners (a private equity firm that invests in renewable power, alternative fuels, and energy efficiency and storage), Element Power develops, acquires, builds and operates utility-scale solar and wind power projects.

“Element Power is pleased to once again work with the State of New Mexico, Luna County, the town of Deming and El Paso Electric to bring renewable energy and economic development to the region,” says Element Power’s chief operating officer Raimund Grube. “The sale of Macho Springs Solar to First Solar is the result of a strong working relationship that draws on each company's strengths,” he adds.

First Solar will construct the facility using its CdTe PV modules. The project should provide up to 400 construction jobs. When completed (in 2014), it is expected to be the state’s largest solar power project, producing enough renewable energy to power over 18,000 homes while displacing 40,000 tons of CO2 per year (equivalent to taking 8000 cars off the road).

Electricity from the facility will be purchased by El Paso Electric under a power purchase agreement (PPA) that is subject to regulatory approvals (expected in first-half 2013). The Macho Springs project was the result of a Request for Proposal (RFP) by El Paso Electric to include additional electric peaking resources in its current energy mix.

Previously, in 2011, First Solar completed New Mexico’s 30MW Cimarron Solar facility, which is owned by Southern Company and Turner Renewable Energy. The same year it also completed 22MW of solar projects in the state for PNM Resources Inc. The firm has also been selected to build another 21.5MW for PNM, for completion in late 2013.

Tags: First Solar CdTe


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