The U.S. solar panel manufacturer
First Solar Inc.
) was selected by Tenaska Solar Ventures - an independent energy
company - to build the 150 megawatt (MW) AC Tenaska Imperial Solar
Energy Center West project near El Centro, CA.
Per the agreement, First Solar will provide full engineering,
procurement and construction (EPC) services utilizing its advanced
thin film photovoltaic (PV) modules and single-axis tilt technology
for the project. The company has already begun engineering on this
project and is planning to initiate construction later in 2014. The
project is slated for full commercial operation in 2016.
) San Diego Gas & Electric unit will buy all the generated
electricity from the farm under a 25-year power purchase agreement.
Located on roughly 1,100 acres of land in Imperial County, this
Imperial Solar Energy Center West project marks the second of its
kind in Southern California's Imperial Valley developed, owned and
managed by Tenaska. Another 130 MW AC Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy
Center South power plant was constructed by First Solar in November
last year for Tenaska.
Increased focus in the U.S. on green energy sees more and more
power being produced from solar cells. The high conversion rates of
the solar panels, developed by companies like
) and First Solar, play a vital role in popularizing solar in the
U.S., so much so that they contribute significantly to the grid.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects
utility-scale solar capacity to expand by about 56% between
year-end 2013 and year-end 2015 in the U.S., in tandem with
considerable consumption growth in renewables for electricity and
heat generation purposes. Along with that, the hiked import duties
on solar panels and products from China will bode well for the U.S.
First Solar came up with bright first quarter 2014 earnings, which
beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 120.0%. Earnings also jumped
66.6% year over year. The solid start to the year supported by new
bookings encouraged First Solar to lift its guidance for 2014.
The company has earned itself a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Another solar
stock with a bullish Zacks Rank is
JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd.
). It sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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