Phoenix Solar to fast-track its largest thin-film solar project to beat German FiT changes

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To beat the feed-in tariff cuts in Germany, Phoenix Solar is planning to fast-track a 15.8MW solar power plant owned by investment firm KGAL, which has worked with the project developer for many years. The plant, to be built in Moos near Würzburg, is Phoenix Solar’s single largest project to date. In order to guarantee the connection of the plant before the July 1 FiT changes, Phoenix Solar has invested in the operator of the substation near the site.  The solar park and the substation are to be taken into operation before June 30, the company said.

In collaboration with KGAL, Phoenix Solar is also building two other solar parks of 2.3 and 2.7MW, respectively, in the regions of Molise and Latium in Italy.  The investment in the three solar parks is approximately €55 million. KGAL and Phoenix Solar have plans to invest more than €525 million in the period from 2009 to 2012 in utility-scale solar plants.

Interestingly, Phoenix Solar said that the German plant would use approximately 160,000 thin-film modules but not exclusively those from First Solar. The company said that thin-film modules from different manufacturers would be used. Phoenix Solar has previously stated thin-film supply contracts with First Solar, Signet Solar, Sharp, Schott Solar, and recently MiaSolé.

In the first quarter of 2010, Phoenix Solar said that thin-film module made up 74.2% of sales, up from 57.2% in the previous quarter. Shortages of First Solar modules could be the reason for a diversified approach to the new German plant, especially due to the short construction times. 

Construction work on the two Italian projects in Montalto (Latium region) and Guglionesi (Molise region) have also started but will use Phoenix Solar’s own branded crystalline PHX modules. A total of 5MW is also to be connected to the grid by the end of June.

Phoenix Solar will be the general contractor for all three projects and, upon completion, will take over the operation and maintenance on behalf of KGAL.

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