NRG Solar has purchased First Solar's 290MW (AC) Agua Caliente solar plant in Yuma County, Arizona. When it is completed in 2014, Agua Caliente is expected to become the world's largest operational PV facility and supply electricity for more than 225,000 homes in the region.
“Solar power is critical to transitioning our nation to having a greater emphasis on large-scale clean-energy technologies and it is going to be projects of the scale of Agua Caliente that will help us achieve this ambitious goal,” said David Crane, president and CEO of NRG Energy. “This investment significantly increases our presence in the state and benefits the residents of Arizona while providing attractive returns to NRG's stakeholders.”
“Agua Caliente is representative of our mission to provide clean, affordable, sustainable solar energy, capitalising on our advanced thin-film technology and the tremendous solar resource of Arizona,” said Rob Gillette, CEO of First Solar. “We are very pleased to further expand our relationship with NRG as the owner of Agua Caliente, the first of our multi-hundred-MW utility-scale projects to begin construction.”
NRG is planning to invest US$800 million in the project over the next four years and has also applied for a federal loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy; the deal is contingent on approval of that guarantee. First Solar is providing all engineering, procurement and construction services, utilising its advanced CdTe thin-film PV modules, and has also been charged with maintenance once the plant is operational.