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First Solar closer to 2 GW solar power plant in China

First Solar has announced a cooperation framework agreement with the Chinese government that takes another step towards the realisation of the 2 GW solar power plant in the autonomous region of Inner Mongolia, China.

The agreement between First Solar and Ordos City Government spells out additional project details and local support that advance the development of the 2 GW solar power plant.

The 1 June, 2010 is has been confirmed as the expected construction start date for the 30 MW Phase 1 of the solar power plant.

First Solar and Ordos have also agreed to establish two committees to ensure the successful execution of the solar power project and to develop a new energy industry in Ordos.

“This cooperation framework agreement and its recognition by the National Energy Administration mark a critical step forward in the approval process for the Ordos project, one of the world’s most ambitious renewable energy projects,” says First Solar Chief Executive Officer Rob Gillette.

“It reinforces the commitment of First Solar, the Chinese government, and the Ordos local government to make an immediate contribution to the development of a healthy solar industry in China and to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.”

The 2 GW First Solar solar power project is to be built in multiple phases, beginning with the 30 MW Phase 1.

Phases 2, 3 and 4 are to be 100 MW, 870 MW, and 1000 MW, respectively. Phases 2 and 3 are to be completed by 2014 and Phase 4 is to be completed by 2019.

The solar power plant project is part of a planned 11.95 GW New Energy Industry Demonstration Zone in Ordos City, Inner Mongolia. The New Energy Industry Demonstration Zone is expected to combine solar, wind, hydroelectric and biomass power sources to provide a steady supply of renewable energy to the region that includes the Chinese capital.

Sohn participated this week in a Clean Energy Roundtable with National Energy Administration Vice Minister Liu Qi, Energy Secretary Chu, Commerce Secretary Locke, US Trade Representative Kirk and a small group of senior US and Chinese business executives.

During the roundtable, in which First Solar was asked to address the significance of renewable energy, Sohn told participants that China’s vision and leadership in supporting solar energy and the Ordos project will “serve as a model of renewable power generation for the world. Projects such as Ordos will enable significant cost reductions through scale, and make solar a truly sustainable energy source in the near future. First Solar is committed to helping build a sustainable solar industry and low carbon economy in China by bringing advanced solar PV technology, global experience, and a focus on cost reduction and environmental sustainability.”

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