First Solar inks deal with PG&E to build two PV power plants

First Solar Inc., Tempe, Ariz., has been on a wild ride over the past four years. Its stock price skyrocketed to more than $300 a share in May 2008, before plunging more than 90% to a low of $11.40 a share in June. Its share price has almost doubled since then, and today the company announced that it has signed power purchase agreements with Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) for 72 megawatts of solar electricity to be generated at two photovoltaic power plants that it's developing in central California.

Together, the two PV power plants will produce enough renewable energy to power some 24,000 California homes. The power purchase agreements -- each with a delivery term beginning in 2019 -- are subject to approval by the California Public Utilities Commission, whose decision is expected in the first half of 2013.

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