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First Solar and Apple pen $850mn power supply deal

Tech giant to buy 130MW of electricity from Californian solar project.

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Apple, Solar, News

First Solar has signed an $848mn deal with Apple to supply electricity from its planned 280MW solar project in California.

Apple will receive 130 megawatts (MW) AC of power under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA), the largest agreement in the industry to provide clean energy to a commercial end user.

This deal marks the first wholesale commercial and industrial PPA executed by First Solar.

Construction of the 2,900-acre California Flats Solar Project is expected to begin in mid-2015, and to be completed by the end of 2016.

The remaining 150MW capacity of the project will be sold to Pacific Gas & Electric under a separate long-term PPA, and the project is fully subscribed between the Apple and PG&E PPAs.

"Apple is leading the way in addressing climate change by showing how large companies can serve their operations with 100 percent clean, renewable energy," said Joe Kishkill, chief commercial officer for First Solar.

"Apple's commitment was instrumental in making this project possible and will significantly increase the supply of solar power in California.

“Over time, the renewable energy from California Flats will provide cost savings over alternative sources of energy as well as substantially lower environmental impact."

In January, the Monterey County Planning Commission unanimously approved the California Flats Solar Project, sending the project to the Monterey County Board of Supervisors, which will consider final approval of the project today.

Building on its proven record of developing, building and operating utility-scale solar power plants, First Solar has placed a strategic focus on directly providing large commercial and industrial customers with wholesale electricity through long-term agreements.

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