First Solar says joins solar project Desertec

LOS ANGELES, March 16 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. solar power company
First Solar said on Tuesday it had joined the Desertec solar
power project, which hopes to supply 15 percent of Europe’s
power by 2050 via a network of renewable energy sources.

First Solar (FSLR.O: ) said it was the first pure photovoltaic
company to join Desertec, the world’s most ambitious 400 billion
euro ($549.9 billion) solar power project that proposes sending
energy created in the Sahara to local markets and to Europe.

The Arizona-based company said it had joined Desertec for an
initial period of three years and that it would contribute
utility-scale PV expertise in project working groups.

Additional details on the agreement were not disclosed.

Twelve member companies — mostly German ones including
Siemens (SIEGn.DE: ), E.ON (EONGn.DE: ), RWE (RWEG.DE: ) and Deutsche
Bank (DBKGn.DE: ) — support the Desertec Industrial Initiative,
launched at Munich Re headquarters in July last year.

Leaders of the project, which would advance in stages with
the first phase operational within a decade, have made a push in
recent months to diversify the countries involved in it.
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They have said more energy falls on the world’s deserts in
six hours than the world consumes in a year.

First Solar, which uses cadmium telluride rather than
polysilicon to make its thin film cells, has the lowest
production cost on the industry, though its cells are not as
efficient as those made by rivals such as Suntech Power Holdings
(STP.N: ) and SunPower Corp (SPWRA.O: ).

The company has built utility-scale solar power plants in
desert conditions in the United States and United Arab Emirates.

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(Reporting by Dana Ford)

First Solar says joins solar project Desertec