First Photovoltaic Solar Panel Installed on Largest Solar Project in the World
DES MOINES, Iowa--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Less than two weeks after its official groundbreaking ceremony,
MidAmerican Solar and First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) marked another
milestone at Topaz Solar Farms, located in San Luis Obispo County,
Calif. On Wednesday, the first solar panel was installed on what is the
largest solar project under construction in the world. When complete,
the 550-megawattAC project will include nearly 9 million
To mark this significant event, the first solar panel was installed by
Greg Abel, chairman, president and CEO of MidAmerican Energy Holdings
Company, and Walter Scott, Jr., who serves on the boards of directors
for Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and MidAmerican.
"The installation of this first solar panel is more than symbolic," said
Paul Caudill, president of MidAmerican Solar. "It represents nearly five
months of hard construction work put in by a dedicated crew of
craftspersons and on-site supervision, a large majority of whom live in
the local area. They are helping us achieve our goal of safely and
reliably delivering energy to our customer, Pacific Gas and Electric
Company, all while adhering to our core value of respect for the
On May 3, MidAmerican Solar and First Solar held a ceremony at the
project site to discuss the project's construction schedule,
environmental values and community-centered plans for the future with
local and state leaders and landowners.
The Topaz project will create approximately 400 construction jobs during
its three-year construction period; will generate nearly $417 million in
local economic impact, the majority of which will be generated during
construction; and will provide California with renewable electricity.
The Topaz project will provide enough energy to power approximately
160,000 average California homes.
"We're very pleased that Topaz has progressed rapidly to the module
installation phase," said Jim Lamon, First Solar senior vice president
of engineering, procurement and construction, and operations and
maintenance. "We're proud to be working with an energy leader like
MidAmerican Solar in bringing utility-scale renewable generation to our
country's power grid."
The Topaz project is owned by MidAmerican Solar and will be constructed,
operated and maintained by First Solar. Construction began in late 2011
and is expected to be complete by early 2015. PG&E will purchase the
electricity from the Topaz project under a 25-year power purchase
agreement, helping California meet its mandate to generate 33 percent of
its power from renewable sources by 2020.
"PG&E is pleased to mark this project milestone with MidAmerican Solar
and First Solar," said John Conway, senior vice president of energy
supply for PG&E. "Solar projects such as Topaz will allow us to continue
to deliver one of the cleanest energy portfolios in the nation to our
customers and help the state meet its green energy goals."
First Solar's advanced thin-film PV modules generate electricity with no
emissions, waste or water use and its systems have the smallest carbon
footprint of any PV technology. Each module is approximately 4 feet by 2
feet and weighs 27.5 pounds.
Electricity generated by the Topaz project will displace approximately
377,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year — the equivalent of
taking approximately 73,000 cars off the road. First Solar's pre-funded
collection and recycling program provides a responsible end of life for
the PV panels. More than 90 percent of the material is re-used.
MidAmerican Solar is a subsidiary of
MidAmerican Renewables and is headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz.
MidAmerican Solar's primary projects include the 550-megawattAC
Topaz project in San Luis Obispo County, Calif., and a 49 percent
ownership interest in the 290-megawattAC Agua Caliente
project in Yuma County, Ariz. More information is available at www.midamericanrenewablesllc.com.
MidAmerican Renewables is a subsidiary of MidAmerican Energy Holdings
Company, a global provider of energy services. Through its
energy-related businesses, MidAmerican provides electric and natural gas
service to 7 million customers worldwide. These businesses are Pacific
Power, Rocky Mountain Power and PacifiCorp Energy, comprising
PacifiCorp; MidAmerican Energy Company; Northern Powergrid Holdings
Company; Northern Natural Gas Company; Kern River Gas Transmission
Company; MidAmerican Renewables; and CalEnergy Philippines. Information
about MidAmerican is available at www.midamerican.com.
First Solar is a leading global provider of
comprehensive photovoltaic solar systems that use its advanced thin-film
modules. The company's integrated power plant solutions deliver an
economically attractive alternative to fossil-fueled electricity
generation today. From raw material sourcing through end-of-life module
collection and recycling, First Solar's renewable energy systems protect
and enhance the environment. For more information about First Solar,
For First Solar Investors
This release contains
forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to the safe harbor
provisions of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The
forward-looking statements in this release do not constitute guarantees
of future performance. Those statements involve a number of factors that
could cause actual results to differ materially, including risks
associated with the company's business involving the company's products,
their development and distribution, economic and competitive factors and
the company's key strategic relationships and other risks detailed in
the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. First
Solar assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking information
contained in this press release or with respect to the announcements
Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50283808&lang=en
Ann Thelen, 515-281-2785
Communications and Media Relations
Alan Bernheimer, 415-935-2499
Vice President, Investor Relations
Director, Investor Relations
Source: MidAmerican Renewables
News Provided by Acquire Media
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