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BUSINESS
May 22, 2009 | Times Staff and Wire Reports
Pacific Gas & Electric Co., the utility owned by PG&E Corp. of San Francisco, won approval from regulators for a solar power contract with Sempra Generation, a unit of Sempra Energy of San Diego. Under a 20-year contract, Pacific Gas will buy power from a 10-megawatt photovoltaic solar plant in Boulder City, Nev. Sempra and First Solar Inc. said in April that they would expand the facility by 48 megawatts using First Solar's thin-film technology. The California Public Utilities Commission approved the contract at its meeting in San Francisco.
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BUSINESS
June 23, 2012 | Bloomberg News
Shares of First Solar soared after the biggest maker of thin-film solar panels got permission to continue construction on a $1.36-billion power project in Los Angeles County. Shares of First Solar Inc. soared after the biggest maker of thin-film solar panels received permission to continue construction on a $1.36-billion power project in Los Angeles County. First Solar had the biggest increase among the companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 index Friday, rising 9.2% to $15.88.
BUSINESS
November 24, 2010 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors denied a request from Northrop Grumman Corp. to delay final approval of a major solar project in the Antelope Valley near the military contractor's facility for testing radar-evading stealth aircraft. On a voice vote, supervisors rejected Northrop's appeal Tuesday, opting to let plans for the 2,100-acre complex of photovoltaic solar panels proceed. Final approval is expected Dec. 7. The company argued that the project would "adversely impact the military mission" of the sensitive, 1970s-era testing center, just south of the Tehachapi Mountains in Kern County.
BUSINESS
December 7, 2011 | Bloomberg News
Warren Buffett's MidAmerican Energy Holdings utility agreed to buy the $2 billion Topaz project in California, branching into solar power after the industry was battered by stock markets around the world. The Topaz Solar Farm will be one of the world's largest photovoltaic power plants and is being developed by the seller, First Solar Inc. of Tempe, Ariz. Terms weren't disclosed. The project's 550- megawatt capacity is equal to about half a new nuclear reactor. Buffett's Iowa-based utility, which entered clean energy buying U.S. wind farms and a stake in Chinese electric-car producer BYD Co., struck the deal Wednesday after First Solar failed to get a U.S. government loan guarantee for the project that will use First Solar's thin-film solar panels.
BUSINESS
June 22, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
First Solar Inc. is restarting work on one of the biggest construction projects in Los Angeles County after resolving a code conflict with the public works department. The nearly $1.4-billion Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One project was put on hold as the county checked that the thin-film solar panels being installed met certification, health and safety requirements. Tempe, Ariz.-based First Solar put some workers on furlough during the period but now says it plans to ramp up its workforce over the next few weeks.
BUSINESS
April 30, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
SolarCity Corp., a Bay Area solar panel developer and installer whose chairman heads Tesla Motors Inc., is planning an IPO. The San Mateo company's intention to go public come as other alternative energy firms are backing away from similar growth plans, even after the industry reported record growth last year. First Solar Inc. said this month that it would close down some of its factories and trim 2,000 positions . Oakland's BrightSource Energy Inc. scrapped its IPO plans a few weeks ago. After Solyndra's bankruptcy last year focused an unflattering spotlight on the solar business, SolarCity and other companies gave up hope for federal loan guarantees.
BUSINESS
April 18, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
Blaming a "fundamentally changed" solar industry and plunging business in Europe, panel maker First Solar Inc. is cutting 2,000 jobs and closing a factory. The layoffs represent 30% of the workforce of the Tempe, Ariz., company, which is the leading U.S. manufacturer of photovoltaic solar panels — the type commonly found on rooftops. The factory being closed is in Frankfurt, Germany. In addition, the company will indefinitely idle four production lines at its facility in Kulim, Malaysia, as of May 1. Some U.S. employees of the company will also be cut, though First Solar did not disclose how many.
BUSINESS
August 28, 2011 | By Andrew Leckey
Taking advantage of greatly reduced stock prices is a tricky business. One strategy is to find an investment area so certain to grow that it will be around long after market traumas subside. Green investing, which offers the added potential that innovative companies will get snapped up by bigger firms, could be one of those areas. Buying stocks of firms that play a significant role in the environment and energy conservation can be highly speculative, as indicated by the beatings so many have taken this year.
BUSINESS
November 25, 2011 | Bloomberg
Renewable energy is surpassing fossil fuels for the first time in new power-plant investments, shaking off setbacks from the financial crisis and an impasse at the United Nations global warming talks. Electricity from the wind, sun, waves and biomass drew $187 billion last year compared with $157 billion for natural gas, oil and coal, according to calculations by Bloomberg New Energy Finance using the latest data. Accelerating installations of solar- and wind-power plants led to lower equipment prices, making clean energy more competitive with coal.
BUSINESS
January 5, 2012 | Bloomberg
Solar Millennium AG's insolvency administrator is seeking to sell parts or all of the German developer of sun-powered plants. Volker Boehm of Schulze & Braun said today in a statement that it's seeking buyers for the company's 60 or so project units and stakes, including Oakland-based Solar Trust of America LLC, which is planning the world's biggest solar plant. Solar Trust currently has multiple projects in development across the southwestern U.S., including the world's largest permitted solar power plant facility near Blythe, CA. The Blythe Solar Power Project will deliver 1,000 Megawatts (MW)
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