First Solar’s Lost Hills photovoltaic project to create 200 jobs

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Greentech Lead America: First Solar has signed a 10-year power purchase agreement with City of Roseville, California, to supply solar power from the Lost Hills photovoltaic facility that it’s developing in the state.

The Lost Hills project construction could start in early 2014, and is expected to create up to 200 jobs at its peak.

The power-purchase agreement will take effect in 2015. Roseville agreed to purchase 325,000 megawatt hours of power for $24 million over 10 years. This is the first such agreement with a municipal utility and is effective in 2015.

Roseville Electric purchased 325,000 MWH of renewable energy for $24 million for 10 years. The contract cost $6.5 million less than similar renewable energy purchase offers in 2012.

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“We are proud to add this project to Roseville Electric’s portfolio,” said Brian Kunz, First Solar’s Vice President of Project Development. “It will help the city reach its state renewable energy goals, while giving residents the benefit of clean, affordable electricity.”

Roseville Electric Utility director Michelle Bertolino, said,”As a community-owned utility, contracts such as this help minimize the cost impact on our customers while maintaining highly reliable service.”

Under the agreement, Roseville will receive 100 percent of the Lost Hills power plant’s output for the first four years of the agreement; it will then decline to a smaller percentage of the output. First Solar has an additional PPA for Lost Hills’ output with Pacific Gas and Electric, which goes into effect in 2019.

In its first year, Lost Hills facility will produce clean energy to power more than 11,000 homes, offsetting more than 20,000 metric tons of CO2 annually.

Recently First Solar bought the global cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar intellectual property portfolio from GE.  First Solar’s existing manufacturing sites will be used to further advance CdTe technology and achieve an increasingly competitive cost position.

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