December 22, 2009 / 7:44 PM / 10 years ago

First Solar drops 150 MW project in Colorado

* Solar co withdraws application from federal agency

* Proposed project to generate 150 MW of electricity

* Shares of First Solar down nearly 1 percent at $135.80

LOS ANGELES, Dec 22 (Reuters) - U.S. solar power company First Solar Inc (FSLR.O) has dropped plans to develop a 150 megawatt solar power project in Colorado, the company said on Tuesday, shifting its focus to “higher priority projects.”

Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar is one of the world’s largest solar module makers and has more than 1.5 gigawatts of power projects in its pipeline.

The company on Dec. 17 withdrew its application with the Bureau of Land Management to build the project across 2,100 acres of high desert in Colorado’s San Luis Valley, said Steven Hall, a spokesman with the federal agency in Colorado.

Withdrawing the application lets First Solar work on higher-priority and “nearer-term” projects, company spokesman Alan Bernheimer wrote in an e-mail.

The proposed 150 MW project was part of the pipeline of utility-scale solar farms that First Solar acquired when it bought rival OptiSolar earlier this year.

First Solar has the lowest production costs in the industry. Its cadmium telluride-based panels that convert sunlight to electricity are cheaper to make, but less efficient than traditional silicon-based panels.

First Solar’s shares were down nearly 1 percent at $135.80 in trading on Tuesday on the Nasdaq. (Reporting by Laura Isensee. Editing by Robert MacMillan)

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