First Solar's Maryland Project

Written By Brianna Panzica

Posted March 14, 2012

First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR) is rolling out the solar projects for 2012.

On Wednesday, the company announced its plans to complete a 20-megawatt solar project in Hagerstown, Maryland.

The new project, of which First Solar owns 100%, will use the company’s thin-film photovoltaic modules to create enough power for 2,700 homes.

Construction will begin in the second quarter of 2012 and will be finished by the end of the year.

First Solar Senior Vice President for business development, Frank De Rosa, spoke about the project:

“First Solar is pleased to continue its work in Maryland to help the state meet its renewable energy goals.  We are excited about moving forward on this project, which is expected to provide 125 construction jobs.”

The project will diminish CO2 emissions by 23,000 metric tons per year.

First Solar is working on an agreement to sell power to a unit of FirstEnergy Corp (NYSE: FE) once construction is complete.  Details were not yet released.

This follows Monday’s announcement that First Solar will participate in the Avra Valley project in Arizona led by NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG).

And it is also in conjunction with a report revealing that U.S. solar installations jumped 109% in 2011.

Studies by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) showed that 2011 solar installations were at 1,855 megawatts, compared with the 887 megawatts in installations in 2010.

The drop in price of solar photovoltaic systems contributed largely to the increase, as did the end of a number of government subsidies, which quickened the pace of projects.

Shayle Kann, Managing Director of solar practice at GTM Research, was pleased:

“In 2011, the market demonstrated why the U.S. is becoming the center of attention for global solar.”

Though China remains a major competitor for production, spurring a survival-of-the-fittest among solar companies, the U.S. is moving forward in the race for installations.

That’s all for now,


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