Breaking F%^&ing News: China Invests in Itself
NEW YORK (Reuters) - First Solar Inc said on Tuesday it plans to build the world's largest solar plant in China in the first major foray by a U.S. company into the Asian nation's fast growing alternative energy sector.
Under a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese government, First Solar will build a 2-gigawatt power plant, enough to power about 3 million Chinese households, at Ordos City, in Inner Mongolia, and consider building a new manufacturing plant in China.
The announcement comes as the solar industry struggles to emerge from a year-long slump that saw financing for new projects dry up and reduced subsidies in Spain create a glut of unsold cells and panels.
The project is part of China's program to generate 10 percent of its energy from renewable resources by 2010 and 15 percent by 2020 to help meet its growing energy appetite that has made the country the world's top emitter of carbon dioxide.
First Solar will begin constructing a 30 megawatt demonstration project in June 2010 in Ordos. The second and third phases call for 100 megawatt and 870 megawatt projects that will be completed in 2014. A final 1,000 megawatt installation will be finished in 2019.
Solar projects have so far been built on a smaller scale, and the First Solar project will be a test of whether the technology behind the plant -- which will be 30 times the size of the largest current plant -- can be scaled up.
"In most people's heads, (solar) is a nice little niche thing," First Solar Chairman and Chief Executive Michael Ahearn told Reuters. "Having a demonstration of something that's nuclear plant size will begin to change that image."
Yeah whatever. Hope you like that bubble, China.