NRG Solar, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NRG Energy, has announced its 25MW Avra Valley Solar PV facility near Tucson, Arizona has completed and become operational.
The facility, which has been built on 121 hectares of fallow agricultural land, represents the sixth largest utility-scale PV facility in NRG’s solar portfolio. It was built by First Solar in just eight months which installed more than 410,000 of its series 3 modules as well as its new single-axis trackers. The system is the company's first such project utilising these trackers which are said to increase the energy output by about 25% compared with conventional fixed tilt systems. First Solar will continue to provide operation and maintenance services for the plant.
Electricity generated from the array, which is said to be enough to power around 5,000 households a year, will be sold to utility firm Tucson Electric Power under a 20-year power purchase agreement.
“Today we celebrate the Avra Valley solar project as an example of our success in developing solar projects that meet the renewable energy needs of local utilities and generate cost-effective solar power over the long term,” said Randy Hickok, Senior Vice President of NRG Solar. “Although NRG has many distributed solar projects and thermal operations in Arizona, this project represents our first delivery of solar power to Tucson Electric Power, helping TEP meet Arizona’s renewable energy goals.”
The PV system will serve as the single largest solar array in TEP’s renewable energy portfolio.