First Solar Sells CA Solar Plant to NRG

First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq:FSLR) announced the sale of the 21-megawatt (MW) AC solar energy project it has developed and constructed in Blythe, Calif., to NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NRG).

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.

Using First Solar’s thin film PV panels that convert sunlight directly into electricity with no water consumption during operation, the project will generate over 45,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year. The solar generation displaces over 12,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year–the equivalent of taking 2,200 cars off the road. The construction of this project created 175 solar 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.

First Solar is developing 1,300 megawatts of PV solar projects under contracts with utilities in California and the Southwest.

Last week, the company announced a framework agreement with the Chinese government that takes another step towards the realization of an enormous, 20-gigawatt solar power plant in the autonomous region of Inner Mongolia, China.

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