First Solar sells 50 MW Nevada power plant22. March 2012 | Applications & Installations, Markets & Trends | By: Jonathan Gifford
Thin film manufacturer First Solar today announced the sale of the Silver State North photovoltaic project, in Nevada, U.S. The project is worth 50 megawatts and was acquired outright by Canadian energy company Enbridge Inc.
Silver State North is 40 miles south of the city of Las Vegas, and was constructed by First Solar. It consists of 800,000 CdTe First Solar modules and employed 300 people during construction. It is expected to begin commercial production in May. First Solar will provide operations and maintenance services in a long-term contract. A 25-year PPA with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada has been signed.
The photovoltaic power plant is the first that Enbridge has acquired in the U.S. solar market, and Vice President Green Energy Don Thompson indicated that it won’t be the last. "The U.S. solar market presents significant growth opportunities given the excellent solar resource, supportive regulatory environment and expanding portfolio of solar energy projects."
Enbridge manages a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets, including eight wind farms, four solar projects, a hybrid fuel cell and four waste heat recovery facilities. Together they have a cumulative capacity of one gigawatt.
First Solar indicated, in a statement announcing the sale, that it was pleased to be working with Enbridge in the U.S. and that the project was also a first for the company. "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,” said First Solar’s Frank De Rosa.
Today's announcement is welcome news for First Solar, following on from the announcement earlier in the week that the company will face class action legal claims over accusations that the company: Did not disclose certain manufacturing flaws were having an adverse effect on the Company's earnings; was improperly recognizing revenue from certain products in its systems business; and lacked sufficient internal and financial controls to accurately report the Company’s financial results.
Responding to the action, First Solar released a statement to pv magazine, in which is said: "We believe the suit is without merit, and will defend ourselves vigorously."
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