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World’s largest PV plant near peak capacity

The Agua Caliente solar project in Arizona, the world’s largest photovoltaic plant, is now delivering 250 megawatts of power to the electrical grid. Agua Caliente has now reached more than half its total generation capacity of 290 MW and is on track to meet is target completion date in 2014. The project first started commercial operation this January with 30 MW of grid-connected power before reaching 200 MW in July. (See related story).

When completed, Agua Caliente will be generating enough power for around 100,000 homes and will displace around 5.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide over 25 years.

The project is owned by NRG Energy, Inc. and MidAmerican Solar and is being designed and constructed by First Solar. First Solar will also operate and maintain the facility which is under a 25-year power purchase agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

First Solar, which designs and develops solar projects using cadmium telluride thin-film technology, also announced two new power purchase agreements with PG&E this week, this time for California.

First Solar is currently developing the 32-MW Lost Hills project in Kern County and the 40-MW Cuyama project in Santa Barbara Country. Project construction should start in 2012.

Together, the two projects should produce enough energy for 24,000 homes and offset 45,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually.

The P.P.A. for these projects has a delivery term beginning in 2019. They are subject to approval by the California Public Utilities Commission.

First Solar is the world’s largest thin-film photovoltaic companies, providing solar products to projects all over the world as well as developing those projects themselves.

Last month, the company announced plans to expand its operation in the growing solar market of Thailand, establishing a local subsidiary and an office in Bangkok.

First Solar originally entered the Thai market in 2011 and has more than 12 MW of projects using its services installed or under construction. – EcoSeed Staff



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