First Solar Inc., the world’s largest producer of thin-film solar panels, will sell electricity at the rate of 5.8 cents per kWh in New Mexico – half the price of power from local coal plants. According to its Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with El Paso Electric Company, the local grid will be supplied with power from First Solar’s 50-megawatt Macho Springs project.

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The cost of electricity from Macho Springs will be half the rate of electricity from the company’s other solar farms, such as Antelope Valley and Topaz in California and Agua Caliente in Arizona, according to Aaron Chew, an analyst at Maxim Group LLC in New York. It will be “the lowest solar power purchase agreement price we have ever seen,” he said.

The Macho Springs Solar Park will produce electricity at a much lower price than 11.4 cents per kWh- the average retail cost of electricity in the United States. Average price of electricity gained from thin-film solar panels is 16.3 cents per kWh, 2.8 times higher than First Solar’s price projected for New Mexico.

The company will most likely have its revenue from the project supplemented by the state. According to Anthony Kim, an analyst for Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Fist Solar will receive support in 30 percent federal business energy investment tax credit.

+ First Solar

Via Clean Technica