Arizona Public Service (APS) has selected First Solar to design and build the Paloma solar plant in Gila Bend in Arizona, US.

The 17MW photovoltaic facility is expected to become operational in September 2011.

The facility will use 300,000 thin-film photovoltaic panels from First Solar mounted on fixed-tilt steel frames.

It is the first time thin-film panels will have been used for an APS solar plant.

Paloma is one of the five solar plants currently under development in APS’s AZ Sun programme, which aims to finance and own 100MW of solar photovoltaic power plants in Arizona.