First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) has commenced 250 megawatt (MW) Moapa Southern Paiute commercial solar project operation.

Details of the project

The project is a product of First Solar. It is powered by more than 3.2 million high level thin film photovoltaic (PV) solar panel designed by First Solar. This can be equated to solar panels of more than 25 million square feet or solar panels enough to occupy more than 450 National Football League soccer fields.

It is expected that the project will consume solar energy which will help in evading of carbon dioxide emissions amounting to around 341,000 metric tons on an annual basis which would have been produced as result of fossil generated electricity.

Impact on Los Angeles city

The project is expected to produce enough clean energy power consumed in about 111,000 domestic homes. First Solar and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) have entered into a long term power purchase agreement (PPA) to supply clean and renewable energy to the clients in Los Angeles. The solar plant will assist Los Angeles achieve its aim of having about 33% of energy from renewable sources by 2020 and 50% by 2050.

Benefits to the locals

The Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project is the first and the largest utility scale power plant that has ever been built on the tribal land. The project has led to creation of economic development opportunities the tribal members as well as other Native Americans. These include; provision of lease revenue to members throughout the project’s lifespan as well as around 115 construction related jobs. The project also assists in conserving their ancestral land and cultural heritage.

Future plans

The plant is expected to undergo major transitions within the next two years. In the years 2017 and 2018, the current production facilities will be transformed to be able to support Series 6 production. Series 4 and 5 production will be discontinued. It is expected that this transformation process will assist the company enhance its efficiency of each installed panel as well reduce costs.

It is believed that the company leading position in the market will allow it to consistently generate profits.