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First panel installed in 550-MW Topaz Solar Farm in California

The first solar panel has been installed at the Topaz Solar Farm in San Luis Obispo County, California. The 550-megawatt Topaz is a project of MidAmerican Solar and First Solar, Inc.  Said to be one of the largest solar projects under construction in the world, the Topaz project will provide enough energy for approximately 160,000 California homes. 

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U.S. Commerce Department releases anti-dumping duties for Chinese solar companies

The United States Department of Commerce has found that several Chinese solar cell producers and exporters have been selling solar products in the United States at artificially low prices and has slapped them with anti-dumping duties between 31 percent and 250 percent. The biggest offenders were said to be Wuxi Suntech and Trina Solar with preliminary dumping margins of 31.22 percent and 31.14 percent respectively, but 59 other Chinese exporters were given anti-dumping duties of 31.18 percent while all other Chinese producers/exporters received a preliminary dumping margin of 249.96 percent.

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Suntech signs 120-MW PV deal with distributor Krannich Solar

Suntech Power Holdings Company will be supplying up to 120 megawatts’ worth of solar panels for projects in Europe and Australia in 2012 following an agreement with Krannich Solar. Krannich Solar distributes complete and pre-packaged solar systems and components to resellers and installers. Krannich Solar and Suntech have been partnering since 2007, with Krannich Solar providing its customers with Suntech products.

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JCM Capital, Panasonic to develop over 120 MW of solar in Ontario

Solar power financing company JCM Capital and Panasonic Eco Solutions Canada Inc. have signed an agreement to provide an end-to-end solar financing service to the Ontario solar markets. The arrangement will combine JCM’s expertise and initial $10 million development capital fund (see related story) with Panasonic’s construction financing services.

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K Road Power acquires 25-MW solar project from SunPower

Solar power-focused independent power producer K Road Power acquired a 25-megawatt solar photovoltaic project in Modesto, California from SunPower Corp. The McHenry Solar Project, designed by SunPower, is currently under construction. Under the acquisition deal, K Road will own the project as SunPower provides operational and maintenance services.

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Electrons flow from North America’s largest PV facility

The Agua Caliente solar project in Yuma County, Arizona has delivered its first 100 megawatts’ worth of power to the grid, effectively making it North America’s largest photovoltaic power plant in operation. Representatives from project owners NRG Energy, Inc. and MidAmerican Solar, including those from developer First Solar, Inc. gathered with federal and local officials on Wednesday at the 290-megawatt project, whose full capacity is expected to be seen in about two more years.

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30-MW solar project powers Tibetan city

A newly-operational 30-megawatt solar photovoltaic generation plant will reduce the number of winter power shortages in the sunshine-rich city of Xigaze in Tibet, China. Located 3 kilometers northwest of Xigaze city proper, the autonomous region’s second-largest city, the plant is the first phase of a large-scale solar power project being constructed by Linuo Power Group.

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Japan’s largest solar power plant to begin construction in July

Japan’s Kyocera Corporation, along with the IHI Group and Mizuho Corporate Bank, has reached an agreement by which they will construct a 70-megawatt solar power plant in southern Japan. The project is currently the largest officially announced solar power plant in the country. It will generate approximately 79,000 megawatt-hours annually, enough for roughly 22,000 households. It will offset around 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide.

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Q-Cells latest solar company to file for bankruptcy

German photovoltaics manufacturer Q-Cells is the latest solar company to file for insolvency proceedings, after reporting net losses of 846 million Euros or $1.13 billion in 2011 reportedly due to competition from lower-cost solar products from China. Once the largest solar company in the world, Q-Cells has been in trouble for some time and tried several cost-reduction measures to stay in business.

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Solar Plant to rise from Abu Dhabi Desert by end of 2012.

Abu Dhabi is transforming a desert location from rolling, towering sand dunes into a site for the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant. The General Manager of Shams Power Company has been reported saying that the new solar plant will be completed and in operation by the end of this year, and the plant will be able to provide the UAE capital with power at commercial prices.

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