TEMPE, USA: First Solar Inc. has announced a power purchase agreement to supply Pacific Gas and Electric Co. with renewable electricity from a 300 megawatt (AC) utility-scale photovoltaic solar power facility that First Solar is developing in Southern California.
The Desert Sunlight project, to be located near Desert Center in eastern Riverside County, Calif., will have a total capacity of 550 megawatts, enough to power approximately 160,000 area homes – or about 480,000 residents. The other 250 MW portion of the project is already under contract to Southern California Edison. First Solar’s power purchase agreements with PG&E and SCE are subject to the approval of the California Public Utilities Commission.
First Solar will build the Desert Sunlight project using its industry leading thin-film photovoltaic solar modules and providing its project development, engineering, procurement and construction capabilities.
With construction expected to start by the end of 2010 and completion as early as 2013, the project will displace 300,000 metric tons of CO2 per year, the equivalent of taking 60,000 cars off the road. It will also create approximately 430 construction jobs. The project’s permit application has been fast tracked by the Bureau of Land Management.
Rob Gillette, First Solar chief executive officer, said: “First Solar is one of the few companies that has all the capabilities required to realize very large, utility-scale solar projects like Desert Sunlight, which are important in helping our customers and California reach the state’s renewable energy goals.”
First Solar has 1,700 megawatts of utility-scale power projects with power purchase agreements in North America.