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First Solar to Develop 30-MW Thin-film Project

First Solar has entered into a 25-year power purchase agreement with Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc. The agreement, which represents the largest thin-film solar photovoltaic (PV) contract by an electric cooperative in the U.S., calls for First Solar to engineer, procure and construct (EPC) a 30-megawatt ground-mounted PV power plant in northeastern New Mexico. This news follows on First Solar's announcement that it has produced an aggregate total of 1 gigawatt of PV panels.

"This photovoltaic power plant is another demonstration of our ability to provide affordable, utility-scale solar solutions," said John Carrington, First Solar executive vice president of marketing and business development. "In addition to being cost-effective, the plant will create 120 to 140 construction jobs, significantly reduce green house gas emissions and provide enough power to serve the equivalent of approximately 9,000 homes."

Tri-State said that the project will be the first utility-scale solar power plant in the region and is expected to be complete by the end of 2010. Upon completion of construction on the project, First Solar will provide monitoring and maintenance services for the PV power plant over the course of its lifetime. The company expects that by time the project is finished it will have transferred all or substantially all of its equity interest to Tri-State.

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