China and First Solar Sign Accord for Major Solar Plant
U.S.-based First Solar has signed an agreement with the Chinese government to build the world’s largest photovoltaic power plant in Inner Mongolia. By 2019, the plant is expected to produce 2,000 megawatts of electricity, which the company said would be sufficient to power three million Chinese homes.
The deal for the 16,000-acre plant, to be located in Ordos City, solidifies China’s position as the global leader in developing renewable energy, and further boosts the prospects of First Solar, the world’s largest photovoltaic cell manufacturer.
First Solar CEO Mike Ahearn said the deal would not have been possible without commitments from the Chinese government to buy the power at preferred rates and to build the transmission infrastructure needed to send the power to China’s population centers.
First Solar produces so-called thin-film solar cells, which are made of a material — cadmium telluride — that is less efficient at converting sunlight to electricity but can be manufactured far more cheaply than standard crystalline silicon cells. Construction will begin next year on the project, which is expected to cost several billion dollars.
Appearing courtesy of Yale Environment 360.
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