First Solar Inc. has started construction of the 139 MW Campo Verde Solar Project, located near El Centro in Imperial County, California. The plant is expected to be completed in 2013. Economic benefits of the project include approximately 250 construction jobs, as well as over $230 million in new economic activity to the Imperial Valley, according to a county study.
The project gained the approval it needed on 18 December from the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) for easements required to cross IID's Westside Main Canal with the project's transmission line. Earlier approvals included a decision to issue a Right of Way grantfrom the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and a Conditional Use Permit from Imperial County.
First Solar will construct the project using its advanced thin film PV modules. The project will generate enough electricity to power approximately 50 000 average California homes, displacing 80 000 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year.