YUMA COUNTY, Ariz. — NRG Solar announced plans to acquire First Solar’s Agua Caliente solar project in Yuma County. The 290-megawatt installation is expected to be completed by 2014 and will be operated under a 25-year power purchase agreement with energy provider Pacific Gas and Electric Co. Agua Caliente is expected to be the largest photovoltaic installation in the world once it is completed.
NRG estimates that at peak capacity, Agua Caliente will generate enough electricity to power more than 225,000 households. The project is expected to offset approximately 5.5 million metric tons of CO2 over the life of the PPA, the equivalent of taking 40,000 cars off the road each year. The site will generate electricity with zero air emissions, waste production and water consumption.
An application has been submitted to the U.S. Department of Energy for a federal loan guarantee to finance the project, which will be one of the first in the U.S. to begin construction under the program. Finalization of the acquisition depends on winning the federal loan guarantee.
NRG plans to invest up to $800 million of equity in the project through 2014 through a combination of cash on hand and third-party investor equity.