First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR) May Supply World's Biggest Solar Farm

NextEra's Blythe Project to be 1,000 Megawatts


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By Swagato Chakravorty
Monday, October 1st, 2012

First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR), which has been holding up in the competitive industry of solar panel manufacturing, may soon supply NextEra Energy Inc. (NYSE: NEE) for the world’s biggest solar farm should a deal that’s in the works go through.

NextEra’s Blythe project requires thin-film panels in numbers that only First Solar may be capable of producing. The company is mulling over using thin-film cadmium telluride panels for the 1,000-megawatt Blythe project, located in Southern California. So far, the company hasn’t settled on a supplier, and there’s a possibility it may decide on multiple suppliers.

Arizona-based First Solar is already working with NextEra on its 550-megawatt Desert Sunlight power plant in Riverside County, California, which is jointly owned by NextEra and General Electric (NYSE: GE).

In addition, First Solar built a 21-megawatt project in the city of Blythe for NRG Energy Inc. (NYSE: NRG) back in 2009. That project sells electricity to Edison International’s (NYSE: EIX) Southern California Edison utility under a 20-year arrangement.

These successful projects make it highly possible that First Solar may indeed become the sole supplier for the Blythe project.

NextEra bought Blythe from SolarTrust of America LLC., which went bankrupt. First Solar, for its part, is currently developing the 290-megawatt Agua Caliente solar farm for NRG in Arizona, which is already the world's biggest solar electricity project with 250 megawatts complete.

First Solar rose to $23.11 in New York at Thursday's close. Shares have slid down around 68 percent over the year.


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