North Coast Solar Stocks

November 23, 2009

First Solar sells California project to NRG

Filed under: EIX, FSLR, NRG — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 1:25 pm

Mon Nov 23, 2009 1:25pm EST

* NRG to buy 21-megawatt solar project in Blythe

* Financial terms of deal not disclosed

LOS ANGELES, Nov 23 (Reuters) – U.S. solar power leader First Solar Inc (FSLR) said on Monday that it was selling the first of its utility-scale solar power projects in California to national power plant operator NRG Energy Inc (NRG).

The companies did not disclose financial terms of the deal.

First Solar will operate the 21-megawatt solar power project for NRG Energy under a long-term contract, the company said in a statement.

Macquarie Securities analyst Kelly Dougherty said in a note to clients that the news “is an incremental positive” for First Solar and will likely add to the company’s revenue for the fourth quarter.

Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar started building the project in September. The plant, about 200 miles east of Los Angeles in Blythe, California, is expected to be finished by the end of the year. Electricity from the plant will be sold to Southern California Edison, a unit of Edison International (EIX).

First Solar is one of the world’s largest producers of photovoltaic cells, which turn sunlight into electricity. Its production costs are the lowest in the industry, although its thin-film cadmium telluride cells are not as efficient in capturing sunlight as more traditional silicon-based cells.

The sale follows another recent deal for First Solar. In October, the company sold a 20-megawatt solar power project in Ontario to Enbridge Inc (ENB), Canada’s largest oil pipeline company.

Princeton, New Jersey-based NRG has mostly fossil fuel-heavy power plants that generate enough electricity to serve 20 million U.S. households, but plans to add a range of renewable energy technologies.

The company owns three land-based wind farms in Texas and invested in solar thermal start-up eSolar earlier this year.

Shares of First Solar were up half a percent at $121.84 each in trading on Monday on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Laura Isensee; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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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.

First Solar Sells California Solar Power Project to NRG

Filed under: EIX, FSLR, NRG — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 8:00 am

21 Megawatt Blythe Project is California’s Largest Photovoltaic Facility

8:00 am EST, Monday November 23, 2009

TEMPE, Ariz.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–First Solar, Inc. (FSLR), today announced the sale of the 21 megawatt (MW) AC solar energy project it has developed and constructed in Blythe, Calif., to NRG Energy, Inc (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 (EIX) 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 industry-leading 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 green 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.

September 24, 2009

Houston selects NRG for 10-MW solar project

Filed under: FSLR, NRG — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 1:43 pm

Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:43pm EDT

HOUSTON, Sept 24 (Reuters) – The City of Houston has selected NRG Energy Inc (NRG) to develop and operate a 10-megawatt solar project, the mayor’s office said on Thursday.

Under the agreement, the city will purchase the power under a 25-year, fixed-price contract for 8.2 cents per kilowatt-hour the first year.

The price will change over time and is a blended rate that includes higher-priced solar power and back-up power from NRG’s nuclear, coal and natural gas-fired generating portfolio for periods when solar power is unavailable.

The solar power price tag is 19.8 cents per kwh under the contract.

NRG will build the facility, expected to be operational next year, on 70 acres (28 hectares) at its Wharton Generating Station in northwest Houston, according to a release.

NRG, the second largest power producer in Texas, plans to use photovoltaic modules manufactured by First Solar Inc (FSLR).

The agreement is subject to approval by the Houston City Council and the mayor.

Ten megawatts is roughly 6 percent of the city’s annual consumption. One megawatt serves about 500 homes in Texas.

Texas is already the leading wind-power state with installed capacity of 8,100 megawatts and a number of utilities and municipal utilities are exploring options to add other renewable power resources, such as solar and biomass.

NRG is also working to develop a 92-MW solar thermal power plant in New Mexico as part of its plan to have 500 MW of solar generation in its U.S. generating fleet of 24,000 MW.

(Reporting by Eileen O’Grady; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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