UPDATE 1-Trina Solar to supply panels to Sempra Energy's Nevada project
* Trina does not specify revenue deal would generate
* First Solar does not specify whether it had bid for contract
Aug 13 (Reuters) - China-based solar panel maker Trina Solar Ltd said it would supply 1.1 million solar panels to Sempra Energy's 345-megawatt (MW) Copper Mountain Solar 3 project in Nevada, a contract that investors perceived as a loss to rival First Solar Inc.
A First Solar spokesman, however, told Reuters that space constraints at the project site limited the "effective application of First Solar's cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin film modules."
He did not specify whether the company had bid for the contract and lost.
"We are confident that we will have additional opportunities to work with Sempra on future projects," the spokesman said.
United States-based First Solar had earlier clinched deals to supply panels to Sempra's 150-MW Copper Mountain 2 and 58-MW Copper Mountain 1 projects.
"I'm sure this is being perceived as a loss for First Solar, given its prior involvement with the Copper Mountain project," Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov said.
Trina Solar did not specify how much revenue the deal would generate.
China-made solar panels sell at an average of about 66 cents per watt, according to industry estimates.
But, analysts estimate that the deal went through a competitive bidding process and a low-margin contract for Trina eliminated First Solar's "historical cost advantage."
Trina Solar shares closed down 3 percent at $7.32 on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday while First Solar Inc shares closed down 4 percent on the Nasdaq.
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