Project Focus: Sharp supplies thin-film modules for 45MW Avenal facility

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Sharp Electronics has confirmed its supply agreement for the 58MW (DC) (45MW AC) Avenal photovoltaic solar power facility, located in Central California. Once complete, the three plant project will be the largest in the state, supplying renewable energy to PG&E under 20-year power purchase agreements approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

Developed by Eurus Energy, which also holds join ownership with NRG Solar, the Avenal consists of three adjacent projects; Sun City, Sand Drag and Avenal Park, all located on agricultural land near the city of Avenal in Kings County, Central California. All three projects will be supplied with tandem-junction thin-film solar modules from Sharp, while the engineering, procurement and construction of the projects will be undertaken by Ryan Company, the wholly owned subsidiary of Quanta Services.

Construction on the first two projects, Sun City, which will be 25MW (DC) and Sand Drag, at 24MW (DC) will begin immediately while work on the 8MW (DC) Avenal Park is expected to begin shortly after. All three plants are expected to be commissioned by mid 2011, creating up to 200 jobs during construction and five permanent jobs once up and running.

“This project is one of the largest solar power installations in the world, and one of the largest Sharp has supplied to date. It also marks a significant step forward for California’s renewable energy efforts and we are proud that our cutting edge thin-film modules will help deliver clean power to the residents of California,” said Eric Hafter, senior vice president for the Sharp Solar Energy Solutions Group.

“Eurus Energy America is excited to team with Sharp on this historic solar installation,” said Mark Anderson, president and CEO at Eurus Energy America. “We look forward to growing our portfolio of renewable generation assets and furthering our strong relationship with Sharp, a highly reliable partner with a high quality line of thin-film products.”

“With nearly 50 years in the solar electricity business and a commitment to the industry that is supported by one of the world’s most advanced solar panel manufacturing facilities, Sharp stands ready to supply the growing market for large scale solar installations,” said Kozo Takahashi, CEO and chairman at Sharp Electronics.

“Sharp’s expertise and experience will be an important contribution to the success of Avenal in adding zero-emission solar power in California and in helping the state meet its ambitious renewable portfolio standard by the end of the decade,” said Tom Doyle, president of NRG Solar. “As the current owners of the largest PV site in the state, we are looking forward to joining with our partners on Avenal, Eurus, Sharp and Quanta and the state of California to develop a site that adds more than twice that solar capacity to the state’s portfolio.”

The Sharp solar panels to be utilized for Avenal will be manufactured in the Sharp plant based in Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture, Japan.

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