First Solar starts commercial operation of 250MW solar project in US


Photovoltaic (PV) manufacturer First Solar has commenced commercial operation on 250MW alternating current (AC) Moapa Southern Paiute project in Nevada, US.

Located on the Moapa River Indian reservation approximately 30 miles north of Las Vegas, the facility will be able to generate enough solar energy to supply approximately 111,000 US households.

Developed under a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), the project is the first utility-scale solarpower plant built on a tribal land and aims to supply clean, renewable energy to the residents of Los Angeles.

First Solar's chief commercial officer Georges Antoun said: “Our PV technology is setting the standard for affordable, clean renewable energy.

"We are driving down the cost of solar electricity and providing a solution that addresses energy security and water scarcity."

“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 project has provided lease revenues over its lifetime and generated nearly 115 construction job opportunities for tribal members and other Native Americans while securing their land and cultural heritage. Constructed and operated by First Solar, the Moapa Southern Paiute facility comprises more than 3.2 million latest and upgraded First Solar thin-film PV solar panels. Power generated will serve LADWP under the 25-year PPA.

LADWP's power system senior assistant general manager Reiko A. Kerr said: “We are very excited to begin receiving this clean renewable energy from the Moapa Southern Paiute solar project, which will significantly help the City of Los Angeles to achieve 33% of all energy from renewable resources by 2020 and 50% by 2025.”

In addition, the Moapa Southern Paiute solar project is capable of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 341,000 metric tonnes every year.