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29 October 2015

First Solar and Austin Energy sign 119MW power purchase agreement for East Pecos Solar Project

First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA, which makes thin-film photovoltaic modules based on cadmium telluride (CdTe) as well as providing engineering, procurement & construction (EPC) services, has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Austin Energy (the City of Austin's electric utility) allowing the municipally owned electricity provider to obtain low-cost solar power generated by First Solar's 119MWAC East Pecos Solar Project.

Austin Energy's general manager Larry Weis said the partnership will directly benefit the citizens of Austin — as well as the entire state of Texas — as the utility takes a step towards meeting its solar development goals. "In committing to procuring 600MW of solar energy in the coming years, the City of Austin has once again taken a leadership role in Texas," Weis says. 

"There is an irrefutable trend of solar becoming competitive in more geographies," says Georges Antoun, First Solar's president, US. "Texas, in particular, shows great promise as an attractive market for solar-generated electricity," he adds. "The East Pecos Solar Project is proof of solar's real-world cost competitiveness." Antoun added that Texas' business-friendly environment, combined with the largest solar resource in the USA, makes it an excellent market for utility-scale solar.

With a robust pipeline of projects in Texas and across the US southeast, First Solar reckons it is strategically positioned to bring its execution capabilities to capitalize on opportunities throughout the region where the firm's modules are competitively advantaged.

East Pecos, which First Solar owns and is developing in Pecos County, Texas, is expected to begin construction in early 2016, with commercial operations anticipated in late 2016. The project will create about 500 construction jobs. East Pecos will generate about 300,000,000 kilowatt-hours annually (enough to power 27,000 average homes in Austin Energy's service area).

Tags: First Solar Thin-film photovoltaic CdTe

Visit: www.firstsolar.com

Visit: www.austinenergy.com

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