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Princeton, N.J., December 21, 2009 – First Solar and NRG Energy began commercial operation for a photovoltaic solar project in California.
Electricity generated by the solar facility is being sold to Southern California Edison under a 20-year power purchase agreement.
Located in Riverside County about 200 miles east of Los Angeles, the Blythe plant is the largest thin film PV project in the United States and is five times the size of the next largest PV project in California.
NRG estimates that at peak capacity, the project can supply the power needs of almost 17,000 homes while helping California meet its renewable energy goals. About 175 people built Blythe during its three-month construction and installation period.
First Solar expanded its offerings in California in 2008. The Blythe plant is a model for First Solar’s future large-scale solar developments.
Using First Solar’s thin film PV panels that convert sunlight directly into electricity with no water consumption during operation, the Blythe plant will generate over 45,000 MWh of renewable energy per year.
This solar generation will avoid about 12,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. First Solar will provide operations and maintenance services at Blythe under a long-term contract with NRG.