First Solar to supply China's massive solar plant

Thin-film solar manufacturer signs agreement to supply phase one of 2,000-megawatt solar plant in Ordos, Inner Mongolia.

First Solar has signed a memorandum of understanding, or MOU, to supply its thin-film solar panels to China Guangdong Nuclear Solar Energy Development (CGN SEDC), the company charged with building and running China's massive solar plant, First Solar company announced today.

The solar farm in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, is planned to be a 2,000-megawatt facility when fully completed by its estimated date of 2019.

While several companies will be involved in the design, construction, and operations of the giant facility, CGN SEDC is the majority owner of the project and will be the primary overseer of the facility's operations once the project is complete, according to First Solar.

An area just outside of Ordos City (the red marker with the "A") is the planned site for China's massive 2,000-megawatt solar plant. Google Maps

First Solar already signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese government in September 2009 and a cooperation framework agreement with the Ordos City government in November 2009 to be a contractor on the project.

This latest procedural step toward building the massive solar farm is a specific agreement for First Solar to supply its thin-film solar cells to CGN for the first phase--a 30-megawatt facility.

First Solar is known specifically for its thin-film solar cells made from cadmium telluride as opposed to traditional silicon solar panels. In 2009, the company said that for the massive China project its considering recycling used photovoltaic modules as it does in the U.S., as well as expanding into Chinese manufacturing in order to accommodate such a large contract.

Then, in October 2010, First Solar announced plans to build two new manufacturing plants to keep up with its growing demand of scheduled projects. One plant will be build in the U.S. and the other one in Vietnam, with both scheduled for completion in 2012. Together, both plants are expected to produce 500-megawatts worth of thin-film solar panels per year.

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