Construction begins at First Solar’s Solar Gen 2

20. September 2013 | Applications & Installations, Markets & Trends, Top News | By:  Jonathan Gifford

First Solar has commenced construction at its third project in California’s Imperial Valley. The 150 MW Solar Gen 2 project is expected to be completed by July 2014.

The Antelope Valley - generic photo.

First Solar has an established supply chain in the Antelope Valley, having previously completed projects there.

Vertically integrated thin film project developer First Solar is continuing to buildout its existing U.S. project pipeline. The latest announcement is regarding the First Solar 150 MW project, Solar Gen 2.

The Solar Gen 2 project was acquired by First Solar in April 2013. Project pipeline acquisition has been a strategy that First solar has employed of late, in the U.S. but also overseas in emerging markets like Chile.

Solar Gen 2 is spread across three neighboring sites in the Imperial Valley: Sonora, Arkansas and Alhambra. The three-site installation will be First Solar’s biggest in the region.

Somewhat uniquely for First Solar, the Solar Gen 2 project will employ a tracking system. Trackers are more commonly employed for installations with higher efficiency modules, such as modules from fellow U.S. firm SunPower.

The construction of Solar Gen 2 will create 800 jobs. "With the support of county officials, IID and SDG&E, we are helping to deliver thousands of green jobs, millions of dollars in economic benefits, and clean, renewable energy for Southern California homes," said Anthony Perrino, First Solar’s construction director.

The 150 MW facility will supply electricity to San Diego Gas and Electric under a 25 year PPA.

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