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First Solar to build 2 GW solar power plant in Chinese Desert

First Solar has announced a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Chinese government to build a 2 GW solar power plant in Ordos City, Inner Mongolia, China.

Phase one of the solar power plant will be a 30 MW demonstration project that will begin construction by June, 2010 and be completed as soon as practicable. Phases two, three and four will be 100 MW, 870 MW, and 1 GW. Phases two and three of the solar power plant will be completed in 2014 and Phase four will be completed by 2019.

“This major commitment to solar power is a direct result of the progressive energy policies being adopted in China to create a sustainable, long-term market for solar and a low carbon future for China,” First Solar CEO Mike Ahearn says.

“The Chinese feed-in tariff will be critical to this project,” Ahearn adds. “This type of forward-looking government policy is necessary to create a strong solar market and facilitate the construction of a project of this size, which in turn continues to drive the cost of solar electricity closer to ‘grid parity’ – where it is competitive with traditional energy sources.”

The MoU contemplates that during the implementation of the initial phases of the project, First Solar will actively review the possibility of solar module and supplier manufacturing sites in Ordos, and other considerations required to support a First Solar investment.

First Solar also says it intends to facilitate expansion of the supply chains in China for thin-film solar photovoltaic (PV) module production and for the recycling of solar PV modules after use.

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Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Solar electricity