News Article

First Solar To Reach Copper Mountain Peak

The cadmium telluride solar cell manufacturer has signed a contract with PG&E and Sempra Generation for 150 MW of renewable power in Nevada.

Pacific Gas and Electric and Sempra Generation have entered into a 25-year contract for 150 MW of renewable power from an expansion of Sempra Generation's Copper Mountain Solar complex in Boulder City, Nevada.

First Solar, a producer of CdTe photovoltaic (PV) solar modules, will provide the ground mounted thin film panels and serve as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the solar project.

The first 92 MW of solar panels at Copper Mountain Solar 2 are expected to be installed by January 2013, with the remaining 58 MW slated for completion by 2015. Under the terms of the contract, PG&E has the option to accelerate the commercial operation date of the second phase.

"Copper Mountain Solar 2 is a great opportunity for PG&E to continue down the path toward a clean energy future - a vision we share with our customers," said Fong Wan, senior vice president for procurement for PG&E. "We are delighted to be part of this partnership that will allow us to deliver more green power to meet our customers' long-term electricity needs."

"Copper Mountain Solar 2 is another exciting step forward on our plan to construct 1,000 megawatts of additional renewable capacity by 2015, "said Jeffrey W. Martin, president and chief executive officer of Sempra Generation."We couldn't be more pleased to move forward with PG&E and First Solar on our third and largest solar project in Nevada, which will deliver a new supply of clean power to California consumers."

Construction on the 1,100-acre solar plant is expected to begin in early 2012. Copper Mountain Solar 2 will produce enough zero-emission electricity to power about 45,000 homes when fully developed.

"The combination of First Solar's advanced thin film PV modules with our industry leading EPC capabilities enables us to rapidly deploy utility-scale solutions like Copper Mountain Solar 2, bringing down the cost of renewable energy," said Jim Lamon, First Solar senior vice president of EPC, Operations and Maintenance. "We're pleased to be working with Sempra and PG&E again."

Sempra Generation and First Solar have previously teamed-up on the construction of two other large-scale solar projects in Nevada, including Copper Mountain Solar 1. The 48-MW installation was completed in late 2010 and is currently the largest photovoltaic solar power plant in the U.S. PG&E is currently delivering the power produced at the plant to its customers.

The power supply contract between Sempra Generation and PG&E is subject to approval by the California Public Utilities Commission.
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