First Solar Seeks Licenses for $370 Million Chile Energy Project

First Solar Inc., the largest U.S. solar-panel manufacturer by shipments, plans to build a $370 million photovoltaic power plant in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile.

First Solar applied for permits for the 162.4-megawatt Luz del Norte project, the Tempe, Arizona-based company said today in a filing with Chile’s environmental licensing agency Servicio de Evaluacion Ambiental. Work is expected to start in June 2014.

The project will produce about 480,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity a year, according to the filing. It will have about 1.7 million solar panels.

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