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First Solar’s 250MW solar project in Nevada commences operations

EBR Staff Writer Published 20 March 2017

Arizona-based photovoltaic modules manufacturer First Solar has commissioned the 250MW Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project near Las Vegas in Nevada, US.

The solar energy project, located on the Moapa River Indian reservation, has been developed to meet the energy needs of around 111,000 homes.

Constructed and operated by First Solar, the newly operating solar project comprises over 3.2 million advanced thin film photovoltaic (PV) solar panels. Put together, they turn out to be over 25 million ft2 of solar panels, or equivalent to covering over 450 NFL football fields as per the project developer.

First Solar chief commercial officer Georges Antoun said: “Our PV technology is setting the standard for affordable, clean renewable energy. By continuously innovating, we are driving down the cost of solar electricity and providing a solution that addresses energy security and water scarcity.

“We are delivering on our commitment to build a more sustainable energy future.”

The clean energy generated by the facility will be provided to residents of Los Angeles through a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) signed by First Solar with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP).

According to LADWP power system senior assistant general manager Reiko A. Kerr, the Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project will help Los Angeles to achieve 33% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2020 and 50% by 2025.

The solar project in Moapa is expected to result in an estimated annual reduction of nearly 341,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions which is equivalent of taking off nearly 73,000 cars from the road.

According to First Solar, the solar project in Moapa is the first-ever utility-scale solar power plant to come up on tribal land.

It had created 115 construction jobs to the Moapa Band of Paiutes tribe. Besides, boosting the economic development in the region would be the revenues earned in the form of lease payments throughout the project’s lifetime.

Last month, First Solar had secured a module supply contract in Australia for the 140MW DC Sun Metals Solar Farm project in North Queensland.