Solar, Utility Scale

First Solar Sells 21-MW California Project to NRG

First Solar Inc. announced the sale of the 21-megawatt (MW) solar energy project it has developed and constructed in Blythe, California, to NRG Energy Inc. Located in Riverside County about 200 miles east of Los Angeles, the Blythe project is California’s first and largest utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) solar generation facility, and among the largest in North America.

Construction began in September and is expected to be completed by year-end. Electricity from the plant will be sold to Southern California Edison under a 20-year power purchase agreement.

“First Solar is very pleased that the first of our utility-scale solar projects in California will be coming on line with a leading power producer like NRG,” said Bruce Sohn, president of First Solar. “This clean, affordable, and sustainable energy will help California meet the goals of its Renewable Portfolio Standard.”

Using First Solar’s thin-film PV panels, the project is expected to generate more than 45,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year. The construction of this project created 175 jobs. First Solar will provide operations and maintenance services at Blythe under a long-term contract with NRG. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.