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IQE

29 October 2015

First Solar signs power purchase agreement for 10.8MW PV project adjacent to decommissioned nuclear plant

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, and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) have announced the formal execution of a power purchase agreement (PPA) for offtake of a 10.8MW solar project to be built on the site of the decommissioned Rancho Seco Nuclear Generation Station.

The Rancho Seco Solar Project will generate more than 22,000MWh annually, which will be offered to SMUD business customers through the utility's Commercial SolarShares program, helping them to achieve sustainability goals while reducing their need to purchase fossil-fuel generated power at peak demand hours. The new Golden 1 Center is the first announced customer that will receive electricity generated by Rancho Seco.

The project provides access to solar power for businesses that might not otherwise be able to include it in their energy procurement strategies due to cost, lack of available rooftop space or other factors. "SMUD's innovative SolarShares program exemplifies how a utility can serve its community in both environmentally and economically favorable ways," says Brian Kunz, First Solar's VP of project development - US West.  

"This project will further enhance the renewable aspect in our power mix, which is already about 50% non-carbon-emitting, helping us meet our board of directors' and the state's carbon objectives," says Frankie McDermott, SMUD chief generation & grid assets officer. "The use of previously developed land at Rancho Seco and existing SMUD-owned power lines also provides significant environmental benefit."  

The Rancho Seco Solar Project is sited on 60 acres of SMUD-owned property including the location of the decommissioned Rancho Seco Nuclear Generation Station. The property also originally hosted a 1980s-era 3.2MW SMUD solar array (one of the world's first utility-scale solar power plants). Construction of the new Rancho Seco Solar Project is expected to start in fourth quarter 2015, with commercial operation beginning in mid-2016.

Tags: First Solar Thin-film photovoltaic CdTe

Visit: www.firstsolar.com

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