8 August 2011

NRG acquires 290MW Agua Caliente solar project from First Solar

NRG Energy Inc of Princeton, NJ, USA has completed its acquisition of the 290MW Agua Caliente solar project from First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA, which makes thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules based on cadmium telluride (CdTe) as well as providing engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services. The acquisition was contingent upon the financial closing of the project’s loan guarantee of up to $967m from the US Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office (announced last December).

Situated in Yuma County on 2400 acres of land between Yuma and Phoenix in Arizona, Agua Caliente is the world's largest solar photovoltaic project currently under construction. The project has obtained all permits and approvals from both federal and state agencies, and is expected to create up to 400 construction jobs through its completion date in 2014.

“Agua Caliente demonstrates the extraordinary progress the US has made to achieving energy independence through public–private collaboration and technological innovation,” says Tom Doyle, CEO of NRG subsidiary NRG Solar LLC. “Construction of the Agua Caliente system will create hundreds of new jobs in local communities, supporting economic growth alongside environmental sustainability. The sheer scale of the project will also help drive developments needed to deploy even larger and more efficient clean-energy resources in the future,” he adds.

“Agua Caliente is a major milestone for utility-scale solar,” reckons Frank De Rosa, First Solar’s senior VP of North American project development. “We are pleased to continue working with NRG in adding significant renewable generation resources to the US electrical grid, delivering both economic and environmental benefits,” he adds.

Electricity from Agua Caliente will be sold under a 25-year power purchase agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric Co, helping California to meet its renewable energy goals. At full capacity, the electricity generated by Agua Caliente will be enough to serve more than 225,000 homes. The project is expected to offset about 5.5 million metric tons of CO2 over 25 years (equivalent to taking more than 40,000 cars off the road annually).

Tags: First Solar Thin-film photovoltaic CdTe

Visit: www.nrgsolarenergy.com

Visit: www.firstsolar.com

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