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PV systems provider First Solar has announced that multinational technology corporation Apple has committed US$848 million for First Solar’s California Flats Solar Project in Monterey County, California.

As a result of the partnership, Apple will collect electricity from 130MW of the installation thanks to a 25-year power purchase agreement – the largest deal in the history of the market to provide clean energy to a commercial end user.

Joe Kishkill, chief commercial officer for First Solar, said: “Apple is leading the way in addressing climate change by showing how large companies can serve their operations with 100% clean, renewable energy. Apple's commitment was instrumental in making this project possible and will significantly increase the supply of solar power in California. Over time, the renewable energy from California Flats will provide cost savings over alternative sources of energy as well as substantially lower environmental impact."

Construction on the California Flats Solar Project is expected to commence in mid-2015 and will be completed by the end of 2016. The 1,173-hectare site will take up 3% of land owned by Heart Corporation in Cholame, California. The remaining 150MW of the plant will be sold to Pacific Gas & Electric under another power purchase agreement.

Earlier this month, Apple said it was planning 70MW of solar generation to supply a new data centre in Arizona.