First Solar to Buy 177MW Solar Farm Project from Ausra

Nov 8 2009 | 9:21am ET

Solar power giant First Solar will buy an option on the California land where solar thermal startup Ausra had planned to build a 177MW solar farm.

The terms of the sale, announced Wednesday, were not disclosed.

The 177MW Carrizo Energy Solar Farm was to be built in San Luis Obispo. First Solar says it will not complete the project. Instead, the purchase will allow it to reconfigure its own nearby solar farm, the 550MW Topaz project, to reduce its impact and “create wildlife corridors,” First Solar spokesman Alan Bernheimer told the New York Times.

The sale is part of a major shift in strategy for Ausra, which is abandoning the development of solar plants in favor of supplying equipment and technology.

Ausra had signed a power purchasing agreement with the California power company PG&E in 2007 to sell solar power from the Carrizo plant, but that deal, said Ausra in a statement, has been “withdrawn.”

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