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Published: Wednesday, 8/19/2009

First Solar to help build 2 plants in California

First Solar Inc., a solar panel maker based in Tempe, Ariz., that has its sole U.S. factory in Perrysburg Township is teaming up with Edison International s Southern California Edison to build two plants in southern California to generate 550 megawatts of electricity.

First Solar, the biggest maker of thin-film solar modules, will build the projects in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, the companies said. Southern California Edison, the state s largest electric utility, will buy the power.

California is requiring utilities to get 20 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2010. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger added a target of 33 percent by 2020 in a November executive order.

Meanwhile, First Solar got new competition in America this week as German firms Solar Millennium AG and MAN Ferrostaal AG said they formed a venture to build up to three utility-scale plants in California for about $1 billion each.

Solar Millennium will own 70 percent and MAN Ferrostaal s U.S. subsidiary, MAN Ferrostaal Inc. of Cleveland, will own 30 percent of the new venture, called Solar Trust of America LLC.



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