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CdTe manufacturer First Solar strikes gold in California project

The cadmium telluride cell manufacter's acquisition will generate enough electricity to power more than 60,000 average homes
First Solar has acquired the 150-megawattAC (MW) Solar Gen 2 power project from an affiliate of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Energy Power Partners and a third equity partner for the project.

Construction of the facility, which is located in Imperial County, California, near El Centro, is expected to start this year and be completed in 2014.
 
The photovoltaic (PV) solar plant will generate enough electricity to power more than 60,000 average California homes, displacing more than 115,000 metric tons of CO2 per year (the equivalent of taking 22,000 cars off the road) and saving 93,000 metric tons of water per year.

The electrical output of the project will be purchased by San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) under a 25-year power purchase agreement. Solar Gen 2 is expected to provide on average more than 800 construction jobs in Imperial County, an area currently suffering from high unemployment.

"We are very pleased to help SDG&E meet its clean energy goals and provide clean, reliable, renewable power to their customers," says Dana Diller, First Solar Vice President of U.S. Business Development.

"We are also proud to once again bring the economic benefits of utility-scale solar development to Imperial County, where both county officials and the Imperial Irrigation District, with which this plant will interconnect, have been extremely supportive."

"We are delighted to transition Solar Gen 2 to First Solar, one of the world's leading solar companies. First Solar shares our vision of providing clean energy for California and green jobs for Imperial Valley, one of the most economically challenged areas in the country," adds Steve Zaminski, CEO of Solar Gen 2 and owner of Energy Power Partners.

"We are grateful to SDG&E, the Imperial Irrigation District, the County of Imperial and the California Public Utilities Commission for their leadership and support in contributing to the successful outcome of this development effort."

 Financial terms were not disclosed. The acquisition includes 40 MWDC of solar modules that the project previously purchased from another supplier, which will be integrated into the installation. First Solar will supply the balance of modules for the power plant, along with its project development, engineering, procurement and construction and grid integration services.

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