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) -- U.S. solar company

First Solar


has received approval from the LA County Board of Supervisors for its AV Solar Ranch project. The LA County Board voted to certify the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and approve the project in favor of First Solar in a vote on Tuesday.

As First Solar relies more heavily on its sale of large-scale solar projects, there are ongoing concerns about potential delays with planned project sales and revenue recognition.

AV Solar Ranch One had been in the headlines of late after a Northrop Grumman appeal stoked concerns about another project hiccup. Several Street analysts had written that the defense industry contractor Northrop Grumman AV Solar Ranch One appeal was likely to cause a delay for First Solar.

However, there were indications a few weeks ago that First Solar might survive this challenge, when a Sempra solar energy project received approval from California's Kern Country to proceed, over objections from Northrop Grumman.

Northrop Grumman had appealed to Kern County to block the solar project arguing that it would interfere with a company testing facility. Kern County approved a Conditional Use Permit for Sempra's 200 MW Rosamond Solar Project despite opposition from Northrop Grumman.

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Christine Hersey, analyst at Wedbush Securities, writing at the time of the Sempra solar project approval, stated, "Although we expect a Conditional Use Permit will be granted for AV Solar Ranch One, it is unclear whether Northrop Grumman will pursue other options to contest the solar projects located within the Range 1 Keyhole."

-- Written by Eric Rosenbaum from New York.


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