NRG Energy completes purchase of 290MW Agua Caliente solar plant in Arizona

Source: NRG Energy

NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NRG) has completed its acquisition of the 290-megawatt Agua Caliente solar project from First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR). The acquisition was contingent upon the financial closing of the project’s loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office.

Agua Caliente is the world’s largest solar photovoltaic project currently under construction. The Yuma County, Arizona project has obtained all permits and approvals from both federal and state agencies, and is expected to create up to 400 construction jobs through its completion date in 2014.

Financial terms of the sale of the project were not disclosed.

“Agua Caliente demonstrates the extraordinary progress the U.S. has made to achieving energy independence through public-private collaboration and technological innovation,” said Tom Doyle, CEO of NRG Solar. “Construction of the Agua Caliente system will create hundreds of new jobs in local communities, supporting economic growth alongside environmental sustainability. The sheer scale of the project will also help drive developments needed to deploy even larger and more efficient clean-energy resources in the future.”

“Agua Caliente is a major milestone for utility-scale solar,” said Frank De Rosa, First Solar senior vice president of North American project development. “We are pleased to continue working with NRG in adding significant renewable generation resources to the U.S. electrical grid, delivering both economic and environmental benefits.”

Electricity from Agua Caliente will be sold under a 25-year power purchase agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric Co., helping California to meet its ambitious renewable energy goals. At full capacity, the electricity generated by Agua Caliente is enough to serve more than 225,000 homes. The project is expected to offset approximately 5.5 million metric tons of CO2 over 25 years, the equivalent of taking over 40,000 cars off the road annually.

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