First Solar Inc. has created a new global operations center, a centralized monitoring and control center where power plants in First Solar's operations and maintenance (O&M) program can be monitored, operated and connected to utility and customer networks.
According to the company, the center – located in Mesa, Ariz. – combines First Solar's power prediction and analytical capabilities with its diagnostics and plant controls in order to maximize power output and minimize maintenance costs. The center is also designed to enable the large solar photovoltaic power plants to integrate seamlessly with the electrical grid and contribute to grid stability.
The facility is fully compliant with North American Electric Reliability Corporation standards and is designed to be scalable to accommodate the growing global fleet of PV power plants in First Solar's O&M program, the company adds.
First Solar currently operates for its customers 14 plants with 460 MW of peak generating capacity, which will increase to 23 plants with 850 MW of capacity by year-end, and 27 plants with 2,200 MW of capacity in 2013.