US solar behemoth First Solar has entered into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with utility firm Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). The agreement relates to solar power generated by two PV power plants which will be developed in central California, US, by First Solar. When complete, the plants will have a combined capacity of 72MW.
The Lost Hills solar project in Kern County will have a PV capacity of 32MW while the Cuyama project in Santa Barbara County will have a capacity of 40MW. Construction of the plants is forecast to begin in 2013 after the development process is complete which depends on the plans of the owners of the projects. Construction of the projects is expected to create up to 600 jobs at its peak.
The PPAs, which have a delivery term starting in 2019, are subject to approval by the California Public Utilities Commission, whose decision is due in the first six months of 2013.
The establishment of the plants is in line with the Californian government’s energy plans to increase efforts on solar projects. Earlier this week, California’s Independent System Operator (ISO) confirmed that the state surpassed the 1,000MW milestone in solar power, setting new US records.