First Solar begins construction of 139-MW solar project in Imperial County

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Greentech Lead America: First Solar has started the construction of 139-megawatt Campo Verde Solar Project, located near El Centro in Imperial County, Calif.

The solar power plant will generate approximately 250 construction jobs, as well as over $230 million in new economic activity to the Imperial Valley. The project is expected to be completed in 2013.

Ray Castillo, County Board president, said, “First Solar’s project brings much needed jobs and economic development to the Valley at a time when it is sorely needed. The project also pays added tax revenue, funds for agricultural benefits and community benefits while helping the County diversify its economy. We’ve been working to attract projects like this for the past five or six years and are glad to see it’s finally happening. These projects are really our legacy for the Imperial Valley.”

First Solar will use its advanced thin film PV modules that generate clean, renewable energy with no emissions, waste or water consumption during operation. The project will generate enough electricity to power approximately 50,000 average California homes, displacing 80,000 metric tons of CO2 per year, the equivalent of taking 15,000 cars off the road.

“First Solar is grateful to the IID, Imperial County, and the BLM for their support of this project,” said James F. Cook, First Solar project development director. “Campo Verde is creating badly needed jobs and will help the county and state reach their renewable energy goals.”

First Solar acquires Solar Chile

First Solar recently acquired Solar Chile, a Santiago-based solar development company in which Fundación Chile was an early investor. The acquisition highlights the tremendous potential that solar PV energy has to change the demography and the economy of northern Chile, according to company officials.

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