Local Leaders Join First Solar in Dedicating 250MW Thin-film PV Factory in Mesa, Az.

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Photo Credit: First Solar
Government officials, community and business leaders joined in a dedication ceremony for First Solar’s thin-film solar PV module manufacturing facility in Mesa, Arizona last week. First Solar is investing $300 million to build the four-line factory, which will employ some 600 full-time associates. The facility is designed with the capacity to produce 250 megawatts (MW) worth of thin-film PV modules per year. Production is expected to begin in Q3 2012.

Mesa Mayor Scott Smith highlighted the plant’s potential to serve as an anchor for the local economy, one based on the opportunities the emerging clean tech and renewable energy markets represent, particularly in terms of future job and income growth. “First Solar coming to Mesa is an important step to establish Arizona as a major player in the solar and clean energy industry. This cutting-edge facility brings hundreds of new high-tech jobs to the East Valley and adds to the ongoing development of the Gateway area,” Mayor Smith said.

“Projects like this don’t happen without the cooperation between the private and public sectors, region and state. I’d like to thank those partners, especially First Solar and DMB, for working together to bring this facility to the Mesa Proving Grounds.”

The Mesa factory’s thin-film modules will flow out to First Solar’s projects in North America. The company has some 2,600 MW of solar PV projects in North American pipeline, including the 290 MW Agua Caliente project in southwestern Arizona’s Yuma County, which is expected to generate enough clean, renewable electrical power to meet the needs of some 100,000 average homes each year. Due to come online in 2014, some 220,000 metric tons of CO2 will be avoided as a result, the equivalent of about 40,000 cars, according to First Solar.

The Mesa factory will also supply thin-film PV modules to First Solar’s 550 MW Topaz project, the 230 MW Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One project, and the 550 MW Desert Sunlight project.

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