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27 October 2015

First Solar and Indiana Michigan Power break ground on 2.6MW project

Cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film photovoltaic module maker First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA has joined Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) at a groundbreaking ceremony for the Twin Branch Solar Facility in Mishawaka, Indiana. The 2.6MW project is the first of three that First Solar is building for I&M, an operating unit of regional power utility American Electric Power (AEP) of Columbus, OH (one of the largest vertically integrated electric utility companies in the USA).

"I&M and First Solar will be building cost-effective, efficient facilities that will serve customers well by further diversifying I&M's generation with zero carbon footprint," says Indiana Michigan Power's president & chief operating officer Paul Chodak III. 

"AEP is aggressively developing a fleet of renewable energy generation facilities in the region, and their commitment to solar power as a cornerstone of that renewable portfolio is at the forefront of a national trend," says Eran Mahrer, First Solar's senior director of business development - Utilities. Twin Branch's site - about 19 acres in the heart of an industrial park - shows how utility-scale solar can be integrated into an urban commercial setting, Mahrer adds.

In addition to Twin Branch, First Solar will be building the 5MW Olive Solar Facility in New Carlisle and the 4.6MW Watervliet Solar Facility in Watervliet (both in Indiana) for I&M. The three projects are expected to be in full commercial operation by the end of 2016, and will be connected to I&M's existing distribution system.

First Solar will be working with trusted strategic partner GEM Energy of Walbridge, Ohio, as the engineering, procurement & construction (EPC) contractor for Twin Branch. When commissioned, the power plant will generate enough energy annually to power the equivalent of 350 homes. I&M will own and operate the plant, supported by system monitoring software provided by First Solar subsidiary skytron energy GmbH.

Tags: First Solar Thin-film photovoltaic CdTe

Visit: www.firstsolar.com

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