North Coast Solar Stocks

November 22, 2009

First Solar plant re-energized

Filed under: AEP, FSLR, PCG, SRE — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 10:00 am

Expansion reflects growth in demand across North America

First Solar Inc., which began in Toledo and is headquartered in Arizona, has its only North American factory in Perrysburg Township. The plant is expanding.

By GARY T. PAKULSKI
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

A huge expansion of a solar panel manufacturing plant in Perrysburg Township is nearing completion just in time for a massive planned increase in solar energy use across the United States and Canada.

Utility-scale solar fields, mostly in the West and South, will consume the output of the First Solar Inc. (FSLR) plant through 2015 and probably will cause the company to import panels from its factories in Europe and Asia, an official said.

“We definitely have created demand in the United States far beyond what that single plant can supply and will need to supplement that with product from other plants,” said Alan Bernheimer, a company spokesman.

Executives launched an initiative two years ago to boost U.S. sales to correspond with the company’s growing manufacturing capacity and offset any cooling of a solar energy-building boom in Europe that consumed millions of Perrysburg Township-made panels. Those efforts are now bearing fruit.

Massive solar fields built by First Solar have been completed or are nearing completion outside Las Vegas, in southern California, and in Ontario along Lake Huron.

Five other big First Solar projects that probably will use panels from the suburban Toledo plant are under way or have been announced. They include one that would become the largest solar array in the nation, covering nearly seven square miles and producing enough electricity for 160,000 homes.

All of the projects are multiple-acre solar fields that will be connected to the nation’s electric grid.

An evolution
If the company moves forward on already-announced projects, the work would consume more than 18 million of the 2-foot-by-4-foot panels that First Solar produces.

“That’s great news,” said Steve Weathers, president of Toledo’s Regional Growth Partnership. “What we like to see with any company is growth in their customer base.”

He said the local plant’s growth demonstrates an evolution in the local economy as northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan shift to other industries and away from heavy reliance on jobs in auto manufacturing.

(more…)

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June 15, 2009

AEP to buy power solar power in Ohio

Filed under: AEP, FSLR, SO — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 12:16 pm

Mon Jun 15, 2009 12:16pm EDT

NEW YORK, June 15 (Reuters) – American Electric Power Co Inc (AEP) signed a long-term power purchase agreement to buy all of the output of a 10.08-megawatt solar energy facility to be built in Ohio, the company said in a release Monday.

Through the 20-year agreement signed with Wyandot Solar LLC, a subsidiary of Germany’s juwi solar Inc, AEP said in the release its Ohio subsidiary will purchase all output and renewable energy credits from the Wyandot Solar facility to be built in Salem Township in Wyandot County near an AEP substation.

Construction of the photovoltaic facility on about 80 acres of land is expected to begin in November, with commercial operation seen by mid-summer 2010, a spokesman for AEP said.

The facility will use PV modules from First Solar Inc (FSLR) manufactured in Perrysburg, Ohio.

AEP did not disclose terms of the agreement.

Based on an industry estimate of about $6,000 per kilowatt, a solar photovoltaic system would cost about $60 million.

AEP, of Columbus, Ohio, owns and operates more than 38,000 MW of generating capacity, markets energy commodities, and transmits and distributes electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states.

REDUCING CARBON

As the United States prepares to reduce manmade greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide, AEP is investing in renewable sources of power, energy efficiency and carbon capture and storage technologies, along with new high voltage transmission lines to transport renewable power to consumers.

AEP is one of the nation’s two biggest emitters of CO2, along with Southern Co (SO).

AEP, which generates most of its electricity by burning coal, produced about 148 million metric tons of CO2 in 2008. The U.S. electric power sector produced about 2.4 billion metric tons of CO2 (about 2 billion metric tons from coal-fired generation) in 2008, about 41 percent of nation’s total CO2 emissions.

The Wyandot agreement is AEP’s first for commercial solar energy in its growing renewable portfolio. AEP’s wind energy portfolio currently is 1,783 MW, including 310 MW of wind generation owned and operated by AEP in Texas and 1,473 MW of wind energy acquired through long-term power purchase agreements.

On June 1, AEP issued a request for proposals seeking long-term purchases of up to 1,100 MW of additional renewable energy resources as part of its goal to add 2,000 MW of new wind or other renewable energy by the end of 2011.

(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by David Gregorio)

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