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Wed Feb 6, 2013, 01:33 PM

First Solar deal in New Mexico brings solar in line with coal prices

Feb 6, 2013, 9:59am MST
First Solar deal in New Mexico brings solar in line with coal prices
Patrick O'Grady Managing Editor- Phoenix Business Journal

Solar has been undoubtedly getting cheaper, but last week First Solar Inc. announced a project that might produce rates that are as good as a utility buying power from a coal-fired plant.

That means itís really cheap. Close to as cheap as natural gas, whose price has been driven down relentlessly by shale mining pretty much in every state but Arizona it seems.

Thereís some caveats to that, of course, because for solar to be cheaper than fossil fuels there has to be some catch, or specifically a credit.

First, there was the deal. Last week, the Tempe-based solar manufacturer and developer (Nasdaq: FSLR) announced it was buying a 50-megawatt project called Macho Springs Solar from Element Power Solar. Once it is built, it would be New Mexicoís largest utility solar system. The deal has power planned to be purchased by El Paso Electric.


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