First Solar Signs Power Purchase Pacts for California Project

First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR  ) is preparing to power several patches of Southern California. The company announced this week that it has inked power purchase agreements with a group of cities in the region. Their municipal power utilities will draw electricity from the 40-megawatt Kingbird photovoltaic solar power plant located in Kern County, a facility the company is currently developing and will build.

The cities of Pasadena, Riverside, Colton, and Azusa all signed 20-year, 20-megawatt agreements, the precise terms of which were not disclosed.

Kingbird, a 320-acre facility, will be located in the region's Antelope Valley. According to First Solar, once the project receives its final permitting, construction could start in the middle of next year. The company expects the plant to be commissioned in late 2015, and produce enough power to supply more than 11,000 homes.

First Solar has been on an upswing lately. At the end of October, the firm posted Q3 results that trounced analyst estimates. It recorded a 51% increase in sales to $1.27 billion, and a net profit that more than doubled to $195 million ($1.94 per share). Since then, its shares have risen by 28% to the Wednesday closing price of $64.20.

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