First Solar and EDF plan 100MW thin film plant near Bordeaux, France

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As promised at its recent analyst conference, First Solar and EDF Energies Nouvelles have finally released details regarding their co-financed CdTe thin film plant. The planned 100MW facility, which will have two operating manufacturing lines, could be established in Blanquefort, near the city of Bordeaux, should final negotiations with the local government prove successful.

“Blanquefort is the ideal location for our second manufacturing facility in Europe and producing there will bring us closer to the French solar market, which we believe has the potential to become one of Europe’s brightest,” said Rob Gillette, CEO of First Solar. “We look forward to deepening our relationship with France. Aquitaine has impressed us with its passion, excellent infrastructure and highly skilled workforce.”

“EDF Energies Nouvelles is very proud to see the achievement of a key milestone in this strategic partnership with First Solar. Securing a competitive supply of modules will allow us to optimize and speed up the deployment of our ambitious French solar program,” said David Corchia, CEO of EDF Energies Nouvelles. “We also believe that this will be a key catalyst in the development of a strong solar industry in France.”

The new plant is expected to cost approximately €100 million (US$150 million) and could see construction start in the second half of 2010, with full production ramped by early 2012, according to the companies. A total of 400 jobs could be generated in the region to support the facility.

The partners said that they expected to conclude the deal in the coming weeks.

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