First Solar To Expand El Dorado Plant to 58-MW

First Solar Inc. has executed an agreement to build a 48-megawatt (MW) ground-mounted thin-film solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant for Sempra Generation. This project would expand the 10-MW El Dorado power plant First Solar completed for Sempra Generation in 2008.

First Solar will design, engineer and construct the PV plant. The company expects to begin construction in 2009. Once construction is completed in 2010, the combined 58-MW project is expected to be the largest thin-film PV power plant in North America.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to expand this 10 MW project to 58 MW—more than five times its original size, advancing our mission of providing clean, affordable solar electricity,” said John Carrington, First Solar’s executive vice president of marketing and business development. “Sempra Generation’s decision to use First Solar in expanding the El Dorado solar plant demonstrates our ability to provide a cost-effective energy solution for utility scale projects.”

As is the case with the original 10-MW solar plant, the 48-MW project will be constructed adjacent to Sempra Generation’s existing 480-MW El Dorado Energy power plant, located about 40 miles southeast of Las Vegas. Sempra Generation will own and operate the PV power plant.

The agreement is conditioned upon Sempra Generation executing a power purchase agreement with a utility customer for the electricity generated by the PV power plant and applicable state and local regulatory approvals. had a chance to tour the 10-MW facility earlier this year. Play the video below to get an inside look at the facility.

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