ARM Purification

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27 October 2014

First Solar sells 150MW Solar Gen 2 project to Southern Power

US wholesale energy provider Southern Power, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company, has acquired the 150MW Solar Gen 2 project in California from cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film photovoltaic module maker First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA.

The Solar Gen 2 facility is being built and will be operated and maintained by First Solar. Construction of the project began in 2013. Completion is expected later in fourth-quarter 2014. Southern Power will initially own 100% of the project, with First Solar agreeing to acquire a minority interest subject to certain terms and upon fulfillment of certain conditions. “We look forward to further opportunities to work together,” says First Solar’s CEO Jim Hughes.

The Solar Gen 2 project spans three sites - each of which is approximately a 50MW grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) system - comprising a combined 1451 acres of land in Imperial County, California. The project will consist of more than 1 million thin-film PV solar modules mounted on single-axis tracking tables manufactured by First Solar.

As the largest solar facility in the Southern Power portfolio, Solar Gen 2 is expected to generate enough electricity to power more than 60,000 average California homes. Electricity generated by the plant is contracted to serve a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E), a subsidiary of Sempra Energy that provides energy to 3.4 million people in San Diego and southern Orange counties.

“Expanding our partnership with First Solar - a global renewable leader - will help us continue to develop a more diverse energy mix for America,” says Southern Company’s chairman, president & CEO Thomas A. Fanning.

Southern Power has previously acquired seven solar facilities with Turner Renewable Energy, with Southern Power's ownership of the facilities totaling 262MW. The acquisition of Solar Gen 2 is expected to increase the total Southern Power-owned solar capacity to 338MW. The total generation capacity of the eight projects is anticipated to be 441MW.

The acquisition fits Southern Power’s business strategy of growing the wholesale business in targeted markets through acquiring generating assets and building new units, the output of which is significantly covered by long-term contracts. California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) program requires investor-owned utilities, publicly owned utilities, electric service providers and community choice aggregators to increase procurement from eligible renewable energy resources to 33% of retail sales by the end of 2020.

See related items:

First Solar breaks ground on 150MW Solar Gen 2 project in California’s Imperial Valley

Tags: First Solar Thin-film photovoltaic CdTe

Visit: www.firstsolar.com

Visit: www.southerncompany.com

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