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World's second largest solar PV plant now complete

Agua Caliente plant in Arizona has 290MW of capacity.

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The world's second largest PV plant has capacity of 290MW.
The world's second largest PV plant has capacity of 290MW.

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NRG Energy, Inc., through its subsidiary NRG Solar, and partner MidAmerican Solar have achieved 'substantial' completion at their 290MW Agua Caliente solar plant in Arizona.

Agua Caliente is the world's second largest solar PV plant by capacity, behind Topaz Solar's current 375MW (550MW upon completion in 2015).

The electricity that is generated by the station, which can support 230,000 homes at peak capacity, is being sold to Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) under a 25-year power purchase agreement.

“Large-scale utility accomplishments, like our Agua Caliente project, raise the bar in terms of our clean-energy technology and production,” said Tom Doyle, president, NRG Solar.

“Proving that we can build both the world’s largest solar thermal and now one of the world’s largest solar photovoltaic facilities advance NRG’s mission to reshape the energy landscape that is incredibly beneficial to both the economy and in how we produce and consume energy.

"Whether it’s partnering, developing or investing, NRG will lead the way in providing a diverse set of solutions and technologies to get the US to the ultimate goal of providing affordable, reliable clean energy for everyone.”

The Agua Caliente project uses clean solar power to avoid the annual emission of approximately 324,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which is the equivalent of taking nearly 70,000 cars off the road.

The creation of 400 jobs during the project’s construction provided a boost to the local economy. The project received a $967 million loan guarantee from the US Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office.

“In 2012, our company made a commitment to invest in its first utility-scale solar project to foster economic development while demonstrating our commitment to the environment,” said Richard Weech, chief financial officer, MidAmerican Renewables. “It is exciting to see this project become fully operational and begin to realize the full benefit of emissions savings with the clean energy generated at Agua Caliente.”

The Agua Caliente Solar Project 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.

Agua Caliente is the largest of 10 operational utility-scale solar PV facilities in three US states in which NRG has ownership interest.

First Solar, Inc. designed and constructed the project using its advanced thin-film photovoltaic modules and will operate and maintain the facility for NRG and MidAmerican Solar.

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