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First Solar Inc. plans to construct four solar power plants totaling 20 MW of generating capacity for PNM Resources Inc.

First Solar will provide engineering, procurement and construction services, using its thin-film photovoltaic modules. PNM has the option to expand the agreement to a total of 22 MW.

The solar plants could be in service by the end of 2013, although the schedule is dependent on project approval by the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, whose decision is expected in the fourth quarter of 2012. The four projects are expected to create a total of up to 450 construction jobs at peak.

The new solar projects are in addition to five projects totaling 22 MW that First Solar completed for PNM in 2011, First Solar adds.

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