Once completed in 2014, Agua Caliente will be one of the world’s largest PV power plants, supplying enough clean, renewable solar energy to power more than 225,000 homes. The project’s construction phase is creating an average of 400 jobs, with over 80% of the workforce coming from Arizona.
"Getting to this milestone of our first 100 megawatts at Agua Caliente illustrates the success of public-private partnerships to stimulate the construction of these large-scale solar projects, creating hundreds of construction jobs and providing clean, renewable power to thousands of homes," said Tom Doyle, president of NRG Solar. "Large-scale projects like this also help drive down the price of solar, which will make it even more cost-competitive with conventional electricity generation in the near future."
Today’s event included site tours and media Q&A led by project owners NRG and MidAmerican Solar, and project developer First Solar–three companies with complementary development capabilities and strong commitment to expanding the benefits of clean energy to more Americans.
"Agua Caliente will provide a positive impact on the environment and create jobs. Projects such as Agua Caliente will play a central role in our nation’s long-term electric energy supply and in our national transition to cleaner energy sources," said Paul Caudill, president of MidAmerican Solar.
First Solar designed and is constructing the project using its advanced thin-film photovoltaic modules and will operate and maintain the facility for NRG and MidAmerican Solar. Pacific Gas and Electric Company has a long-term power purchase agreement for all of the project’s generation, which is projected to offset approximately 5.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide over 25 years, the equivalent of taking over 40,000 cars off the road annually.
"First Solar is proud of the rapid progress we are making to bring Agua Caliente’s clean power to the grid," said Jim Lamon, First Solar senior vice president of Engineering, Procurement and Construction and Operations and Maintenance. "We are very pleased to be working on this and other projects with energy leaders like NRG and MidAmerican Solar. And we’re grateful for the robust support at the local, state and federal levels that enabled us to realize this project."
Agua Caliente was named Solar Project of the Year by Renewable Energy World, a leading industry magazine, and PV Project of the Year by Solar Power Generation USA, the industry’s leading utility-scale solar power conference.
About NRG and NRG Solar
NRG is at the forefront of changing how people think about and use energy. A Fortune 500 company, NRG is a pioneer in developing cleaner and smarter energy choices for our customers: whether as one of the largest solar power developers in the country, or by building the first privately funded electric vehicle charging infrastructure or by giving customers the latest smart energy solutions to better manage their energy use. Our diverse power generating facilities can support over 20 million homes and our retail electricity providers–Reliant, Green Mountain Energy Company and Energy Plus–serve more than two million customers.
NRG Solar LLC, a subsidiary of NRG, has more than 2,000 MW of photovoltaic and solar thermal projects under development or in construction across the southwestern United States.
MidAmerican Solar is a subsidiary of MidAmerican Renewables and is headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz. MidAmerican Solar’s primary projects include the 550-megawattAC Topaz project in San Luis Obispo County, Calif., and a 49 percent ownership interest in the 290-megawattAC Agua Caliente project in Yuma County, Ariz.
MidAmerican Renewables is a subsidiary of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, a global provider of energy services. Through its energy-related businesses, MidAmerican provides electric and natural gas service to 7 million customers worldwide. These businesses are Pacific Power, Rocky Mountain Power and PacifiCorp Energy, comprising PacifiCorp; MidAmerican Energy Company; Northern Powergrid Holdings Company; Northern Natural Gas Company; Kern River Gas Transmission Company; MidAmerican Renewables; and CalEnergy Philippines.
First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar systems which use its advanced thin-film modules. The company’s integrated power plant solutions deliver an economically attractive alternative to fossil-fuel electricity generation today. From raw material sourcing through end-of-life module collection and recycling, First Solar’s renewable energy systems protect and enhance the environment.