* Solar thermal co Ausra started project in 2007
* Financial terms not disclosed
* First Solar says deal to make way for other project
LOS ANGELES, Nov 4 (Reuters) – Solar industry bellwether First Solar Inc (FSLR.O) said on Wednesday that it bought a 117 megawatt project in California from Kleiner Perkins-backed solar thermal start-up Ausra Inc, a move that could speed up another 550 MW project in First Solar's pipeline.
The companies did not disclose the financial terms.
Ausra, which is also backed by Khosla Ventures, said that the sale of the project — called Carrizo Energy Solar Farm — follows its strategy to move away from developing solar projects and focus on supplying large-scale solar steam generators.
"The sale of Carrizo is another step in executing our plan," said Tom Bartolomei, senior vice president of business development at Ausra, in a statement.
Ausra landed a power purchasing agreement with California utility PG&E (PCG.N) two years ago for the project, located in San Luis Obispo County. That agreement was withdrawn as part of the sale, the company said.
First Solar can use the newly acquired land to revise the layout of the larger 550 MW Topaz Solar Farm project, which has run into "concerns such as farmland conservation and wildlife needs," said Kathryn Arbeit, who oversees Topaz.
Both projects include land near each other in San Luis Obispo County.
Shares of First Solar closed down 2 percent at $121.59 on Wednesday on the Nasdaq. (Reporting by Laura Isensee; Editing by Steve Orlofsky.