North Coast Solar Stocks

November 23, 2009

NRG buys Blythe solar project from First Solar

Filed under: EIX, FSLR, NRG — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 11:51 am

NRG buys largest utility-scale solar project in California from First Solar; terms undisclosed

11:51 am EST, Monday November 23, 2009

PRINCETON, N.J. (AP) — NRG Energy Inc. (NRG) on Monday said it bought the 21 megawatt Blythe solar energy project in California from First Solar Inc. (FSLR) for an undisclosed amount.

The New Jersey-based power plant owner said the site — located in Riverside County in southeastern California — is the first and largest utility-scale photovoltaic solar project in the state.

The Blythe plant will be connected to Southern California Edison’s (EIX) electrical distribution grid, and electricity will be sold to SCE under a 20-year power purchase agreement. At peak capacity, the site will be able to power almost 17,000 homes, NRG said.

Using First Solar’s thin film photovoltaic panels that convert sunlight directly into electricity, the project will generate more than 45,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year, displacing more than 12,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. That’s the equivalent of taking 2,200 cars off the road.

The plant uses about 350,000 solar modules, each measuring 2 feet by 4 feet, which cover about 200 acres. The project uses no water during normal operation, the company said. Construction began in September and is expected to be completed by year-end.

First Solar will provide operations and maintenance services at Blythe under a long-term contract with NRG.

Shares of NRG rose 20 cents to $24.01 in morning trading. First Solar shares rose $1.48 to $122.67.

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