First Solar has started the construction on phase I of the Barilla solar project, situated in Pecos County, Texas, west of Fort Stockton in US.

The 22MW project, which is expected to begin commercial operation in mid-2014, will provide output to customers including municipal utilities, electric cooperatives, commercial and industrial users.

The company said that the project will have access to one of the best solar resource areas in the state and can provide electricity to more heavily populated areas with greater peak energy demand.

First Solar business development senior vice president Tim Rebhorn said the Barilla solar project demonstrates company’s capability to rapidly develop, construct and commission a solar project offering clean and reliable energy at competitive rates to the market.

"The project will contribute to Texas’ immediate energy needs and demonstrate how solar power can provide a generating resource that can be effectively integrated into the ERCOT grid and help meet Texas’ energy demand, particularly during critical peak hours," Rebhorn added.

First Solar project development vice president Brian Kunz said, "First Solar is excited to help Texas meet its peak energy demand using clean, affordable solar power."