Overeaters aren't the only ones who want to slim down. Renewable power is about doing more with less. With that in mind, the Tempe, Ariz.-based solar technology manufacturer First Solar Inc. is touting the construction of what it calls the largest thin-film solar power plant in North America.

The company recently announced the completion of its first 10-megawatt (MW) ground-mounted photovoltaic power plant for Sempra Generation near Boulder City, Nev. The project was developed by Sempra Generation, which will own and operate the photovoltaic (PV) power plant.

First Solar constructed the 10 MW PV power plant adjacent to Sempra’s existing 480-MW El Dorado Energy power plant about 40 miles southeast of Las Vegas. The solar modules deployed in this ground-mount project were produced at First Solar’s manufacturing facility in Perrysburg, Ohio.

First Solar served as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for this PV power plant and will provide monitoring and maintenance services for the plant during its lifetime. The project was constructed in less than six months.

The quick turnaround time is a testament to the benefits of thin-film technology. Thin-films are being developed as a means of substantially reducing the cost of solar electric generating systems. They consist of plastic or other substrates coated with amorphous silicon. The reduced amount of light-absorbing material required to create a cell leads to a more flexible and lightweight product that reduces the costs of materials, manufacturing, handling and construction.