L.A. Department of Water and Power pulls plug on 55MW Niland solar farm; First Solar loses out

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The Los Angeles Times has reported that plans for a 970-acre solar PV farm near the Salton Sea in southeastern California have been shelved because of cost concerns. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power made the move at the same time that City Council members indicated they were not going to back the project.

The 55MW (AC) Niland project, announced in August, was to have been designed, engineered, and built by First Solar and equipped with the thin-film PV company’s CdTe modules. Construction was to have begun in 2010 and be completed in 2011.

The news story also mentions increasing tensions between the utility and the council, much of which is centered about possible increases in rates and how Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s “ambitious renewable energy plans” for the city (which include moving to 40% clean energy sources by 2020) might lead to higher electrical bills for ratepayers.

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