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First Solar Sells Solar Power Cheaper Than Coal

Macho Springs Project

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By Swagato Chakravorty
Monday, February 4th, 2013

El Paso Electric Co. (NYSE: EE) has agreed to buy electricity produced at First Solar Inc.’s (NASDAQ: FSLR) Macho Springs project in New Mexico for 5.79 cents/kilowatt-hour.

The price is a good bit less than 12.8 cents/kilowatt-hour, which (per Bloomberg analyses) is the average cost for power from new coal plants.

The Macho Springs project has a power capacity of 50 MW and was developed by Element Power Solar. First Solar subsequently bought the project, which is due for completion next year and accounts for about 400 construction jobs while covering 18,000 households’ power needs.

It’s expected that First Solar will benefit from numerous federal and state incentives in the deal.

From Power Engineering:

"Element Power is pleased to once again work with the State of New Mexico, Luna County, the town of Deming and El Paso Electric to bring renewable energy and economic development to the region. The sale of Macho Springs Solar to First Solar is the result of a strong working relationship that draws on each company's strengths," said Raimund Grube, COO of Element Power.


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