1 February 2012

MidAmerican completes acquisition of 550MW Topaz Solar Farm from First Solar

MidAmerican Renewables LLC (a subsidiary of Global energy provider MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company of Des Moines, Iowa) has completed its acquisition of the Topaz Solar Farm from First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA, which makes cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules and provides engineering, procurement & construction (EPC) services. The 550MW photovoltaic power plant being built in San Luis Obispo County, CA will have the capacity to generate enough renewable energy to power about 160,000 average California homes.

“There is a growing desire to utilize renewable energy,” comments MidAmerican Renewables’ president Bill Fehrman. “Solar plays a crucial role in meeting renewable energy targets and portfolios. The closing of the Topaz project acquisition makes it the second solar project in our renewables business, and we look forward to evaluating and acquiring additional opportunities,” he adds. MidAmerican announced in mid December that it is acquiring a 49% stake in the 290MW Agua Caliente project (in Yuma County, between Yuma and Phoenix in Arizona) from power generation firm NRG Energy Inc (which had previously acquired the project from First Solar).

The Topaz project will be built, operated and maintained by First Solar. Construction began in December and is expected to be complete by early 2015. The project will create about 400 construction jobs and 15 ongoing operations and maintenance jobs.

The Topaz project is one of the world’s two largest PV projects, which are both being built by First Solar, says Frank De Rosa, First Solar’s senior VP for business development — the Americas. “First Solar is the leading developer of utility-scale PV projects,” he claims, “and MidAmerican Renewables’ investment in these renewable resources is a significant endorsement.” 

Pacific Gas and Electric Company will purchase the electricity from the Topaz project under a 25-year power purchase agreement, helping California meet its mandate to generate 33% of its power from renewable sources by 2020. Electricity generated from the Topaz project will displace about 377,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year (equivalent to taking about 73,000 cars off the road).

Tags: First Solar Thin-film photovoltaic CdTe

Visit: www.firstsolar.com

Visit: www.midamericanrenewablesllc.com

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