First Solar, Inc.
) has begun the construction of the Macho Springs Solar Project.
Last month, the company received approval that allowed it to
initiate the construction of New Mexico's largest solar power
plant, Macho Springs, on 500 acres of State Trust Land in Luna
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Also, the approval of a power purchase agreement ("PPA") cleared
the way for First Solar to supply 50 megawatts of solar power for
25 years to
El Paso Electric Co.
). The price of this solar power PPA was pegged at $57.90 per
MW-hour. This is less than half of what has typically been paid
for projects of this nature.
The project will utilize First Solar's advanced thin-film PV
modules, which boast of the smallest carbon footprint and
shortest energy payback time of any solar technology currently
First Solar had acquired the project from Element Power Solar
earlier this year. The project will generate enough energy to
power over 18,000 average New Mexico homes. The venture will
eradicate more than 40,000 metric tons of carbon-dioxide that
corresponds to 7,500 cars been taken off the road. On an annual
basis, the project will save 340,000 metric tons of water
While fulfilling its corporate social responsibility, the state's
largest solar power plant will create 300 jobs during the
construction phase. The construction is expected to be completed
in May 2014.
Alternative energy sources are gradually making inroads into the
global energy mix due to its clean burning nature and a growing
awareness among the masses regarding its benefits. Solar
companies are presently making the most of the positive sector
Canadian Solar Inc.
) entered into an Engineering, Procurement and Construction
agreement with Grand Renewable Solar LP for the construction of a
solar power plant in Ontario.
First Solar's share prices surged 3.3% on Jul 1 compared to the
previous day's price of $44.81 on the back of the Macho Springs
Solar Project breaking ground. This followed a 7.8% increase in
the share price on Jun 25 buoyed by President Barack Obama's
proposal to reduce emissions from coal plants.
The company continues to execute its strategy by diversifying
globally with a focus on increasing bookings and improving its
costs. However, we prefer to remain on the sidelines due to the
current economic backdrop and foreign exchange risk. The company
presently retains a short-term Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
In the near term, we would advise investors to accumulate its
short-term Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) peer
JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd.