February 1, 2011

Green Fire Times

The U.S. Department of Energy has offered a $967 million loan guarantee for Agua Caliente, a large Arizona solar-power project owned by NRG Energy Inc. and developed by First Solar Inc.

First Solar started construction on the 290-megawatt photovoltaic facility late last year and has said it will be completed by 2014. In December First Solar agreed to sell Agua Caliente to NRG for an undisclosed amount. The deal requires that First Solar installs, operates and maintains the project.

NRG plans to invest $800 million of equity in the project, which would be the largest solar-panel power generator in the world. NRG’s purchase of the plant was contingent on receiving the loan guarantee.

NRG has estimated that the project, in Yuma County, Arizona., will generate enough electricity to serve about 100,000 homes and create up to 400 jobs.

PG&E Corp.’s California utility has signed a long-term contract to buy the electricity generated from the facility.

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