- First Solar signed four new power purchase agreements (PPAs) with Southern California Edison (SCE) for 500 MW of solar projects, which brings the total number of solar SCE has under contract with the developer to 2.2 GW, PV Magazine reports.
- SCE's four new projects include the 150 MW North Rosamond Solar Project and the 100 MW Willow Springs Solar Project in California, the 100 MW Sunshine Valley Solar Project in Nevada, and the 150 MW Sun Streams Solar Project in Arizona. All are set to come online by the end of 2019.
- First Solar will act as developer and engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor for the projects, which will be built with the company's thin film cadmium telluride (CdTe) modules, which are designed to perform better in the arid Southwestern desert regions.
SCE and other California utilities initially slowed procuring new utility-scale solar as they neared the state's former 33% renewables by 2020 mandate. But with the new 50%-by-2030 in place, California utilities appear to be ramping up their push for more renewable energy.
SCE's and First Solar's contractual relationship goes back to when the utility contracted with First Solar for the 21 MW Blythe Solar Project in 2009. SCE also inked a contract for 250 MW of the 550 MW Desert Sunlight Solar Project and the Desert Stateline project in California, as well as for the Silver State South project in Nevada.
First Solar was ranked as the top utility-scale solar developer in the world at the end of 2014. The company reports employing approximately 40,000 through its global supply chain, has financed $9 billion in solar projects, has an installed capacity of over 10 GW with over 2.6 GW in its pipeline. Since 1999, First Solar has manufactured over 100 million thin film modules and improved the design to achieve a 17% efficiency.