First Solar’s Antelope Valley Project Encounters Permit Problem


First Solar's 230 MW Antelope Valley Solar Ranch 1 project, a 230 MW PV plant in North Los Angeles County, Calif., may lose its U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantee due to troubles securing a necessary construction permit. The DOE loan was finalized last October, shortly after Exelon Corp. acquired the project.

According to a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing from First Solar, although project construction has now begun, initital funding of the DOE loan has not occurred due to an unspecified problem with a construction permit.

‘Because all conditions have not yet been satisfied, the parties have agreed to extend the time frame for initial funding of the loan to Feb. 24, 2012,’ First Solar stated in the SEC document. However, if the company does not meet the Feb. 24 deadline, it will be forced to repurchase the project from Exelon for approximately $75 million.

‘First Solar is working with Los Angeles County to address a concern the county has with one permit,’ DOE spokesperson Damien LaVera told MarketWatch. ‘Everyone associated with the project expects resolution.’

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