First Solar Begins Operation of Largest Thin-Film PV Plant in California


By Susan Kraemer in, January 18 2010

First Solar’s utility-scale PV plant has now been quietly up and running, in Blythe, California, for its first full month. Once it got a go-ahead in the summer this project only took three months to build.

Perhaps its relatively smaller size for utility-scale solar holds a key to its success in getting off the ground.  Unlike the 250 MW solar trough technologies that are held up in reviews, this project is a modest 21 MW.

PG&E just inked a new deal with First Solar this month, placing an order for the next size up: 48 MW, suggesting that incremental steps are the way to get more solar on the grid in California. The original application with the CPUC had been for a very unassuming 7 MW. With the option to go larger.

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