Stamford, CT & Berkeley, CA & Lisbon, Portugal, April 27, 2006 — GE Energy Financial Services, PowerLight Corp. and Catavento Lda announced that they will build the world’s largest solar photovoltaic power project. The 11-megawatt solar power plant, comprising 52,000 photovoltaic modules, will be built at a single site in Serpa, Portugal, 200 kilometers (124 miles) southeast of Lisbon in one of Europe’s sunniest areas.
GE Energy Financial Services will finance and own the facility in a $75 million transaction. PowerLight, a leading global solar power system provider, designed, will operate and maintain this solar power plant employing the company’s PowerTracker system.
Catavento, a Portuguese renewable energy company, developed the project and will provide management services. Material deliveries have begun, and construction will commence in May. The project is located on a 150-acre southern-facing hillside that will remain productive farmland and is scheduled for full power operation by January 2007.
“This investment is a major step for GE Energy Financial Services not only because this is the world’s largest solar photovoltaic plant but also because it’s our first solar power project in Europe and puts us close to the $1 billion mark in our global renewable energy portfolio,” said Alex Urquhart, president and CEO of GE Energy Financial Services.
With no fuel cost or emissions, the Serpa solar installation will produce electricity sufficient to power 8,000 homes and save more than 30,000 tons a year in greenhouse gas emissions compared with equivalent fossil fuel generation.
The project is expected to be Portugal’s first large photovoltaic installation to go online.
PowerLight’s PowerTracker is a solar power system for large-scale power plants and the company’s patented tracking technology follows the sun as it moves across the sky throughout the day, generating more electricity than conventional fixed-mount systems.