Large-scale solar project breaks ground in California

NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG) and SunPower Corp (Nasdaq: SPWRA, SPWRB) broke ground on the 250 MW California Valley Solar Ranch, a solar photovoltaic (PV) plant.

SunPower first announced the project more than three years ago. The project will use the company’s Oasis Power Plant, a fully integrated modular solar power block engineered to rapidly deploy utility-scale solar projects while optimizing land use. Each power block uses panels with trackers, system cabling, inverters and the Oasis operating system.

NRG will own the plant and both companies will maintain and operate the plant for two years, when NRG will assume sole responsibility. Bechtel will perform balance of plant as well as engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services.

The first 25 MW of the project are expected to begin operations in 2012. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (NYSE: PCG) will purchase the output under a 25-year power purchase agreement.

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