First Solar has announced three separate orders that, when added up, total 529 MW of power purchase agreements and thin film solar modules.
First of all is an order for 400 MW of First Solar’s advanced thin film solar PV modules to US utility-scale solar project developer Strata Solar, expected for delivery from 2017 into 2018. The agreement between the two companies takes their overall transactions up past 1,000 MW.
“We are pleased to be extending our relationship with First Solar,” said Markus Willem, CEO of Strata Solar. “Strata has a relentless focus on quality, efficiency, and flawless execution, so it’s critical for us to have world-class technology partners like First Solar.”
“This deal shows confidence in the continued strength of the utility-scale solar market in the U.S.,” said Georges Antoun, First Solar’s President, US. “We are excited by Strata’s ongoing commitment to First Solar as a source of high-performance technology that provides a competitive edge in their project portfolio.”
The second, though smaller order, is an agreement between First Solar and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District for the execution of a power purchase agreement for offtake of a 10.8 MW solar project to be built on the site of the decommissioned Rancho Seco Nuclear Generation Station. The project, upon completion in mid-2016, will generate more than 22,000 MWh of clean energy.
“We are excited to be working on this project, which provides access to solar power for businesses that might not otherwise be able to include it in their energy procurement strategies due to cost, lack of available rooftop space or other factors,” said Brian Kunz, First Solar’s Vice President of Project Development – US West. “SMUD’s innovative SolarShares program exemplifies how a utility can serve its community in both environmentally and economically favorable ways.”
The final of the three announcements made on Thursday is the second power purchase agreement, this time with Austin Energy, for the electricity generated by First Solar’s 119 MW AC East Pecos Solar Project, which is expected to begin operation in late 2016, and generate approximately 3 million kilowatt hours of clean energy annually — that’s enough to power the equivalent of 27,000 average homes in the area.
“In committing to procuring 600 megawatts of solar energy in the coming years, the City of Austin has once again taken a leadership role in Texas,” said Austin Energy General Manager Larry Weis. “We were pioneers in wind energy in the 1990s, and now we’re leading the way in solar.”
“There is an irrefutable trend of solar becoming competitive in more geographies. Texas, in particular, shows great promise as an attractive market for solar-generated electricity, and Austin Energy is riding that trend,” said Georges Antoun. “The East Pecos Solar Project is proof of solar’s real-world cost competitiveness.”