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First Solar signs large projects in Asia

American solar company First Solar, Inc. announced several deals in developing markets in Asia and in Australia this month, including the recent partnership with an Indonesian company to bring more solar capacity into the Southeast Asian nation’s country’s energy mix.

First Solar and Pembangkitan Jawa Bali Services signed a memorandum of understanding to work on the development of 100 megawatts’ worth of utility-scale solar power plants in Indonesia.

This agreement is the first for First Solar in Indonesia and the first foray of PJB Services, which previously focused on conventional power plants, into solar energy.

Earlier this month, the First Solar also partnered with two Indian companies – Kiran Energy Solar Power and Mahindra Solar One – for two projects in Rajasthan state.

The two adjacent projects, a 30-MW and a 20-MW installation, will be one of India’s largest PV installations upon completion. Construction on both is expected to begin this year with completion estimated in the first quarter of 2013.

In Western Australia, First Solar also completed work on the 10-MW Greenough River Solar Farm in on October 9.

First Solar provided the modules for Greenough River including engineering, procurement and construction services. They will also provide operations and maintenance services for the next 15 years.

Australian state-owned power utility Verve Energy and GE Energy Financial Services each own 50 percent of the 10-MW project near the city of Geraldton. This is GE Energy Financial Services’ first renewable energy investment in Australia and is the largest photovoltaic solar plant in operation in the country.

The plant’s output – enough for around for 3,000 homes – will be purchased by WA Water Corporation to help offset the energy requirements of its Southern Seawater Desalination plant.

First Solar has also been contracted to open a 1-gigawatt solar project in Dubai with a 13-MW solar installation for the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority. – K.R. Jalbuena



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