World's Largest Operational Solar PV Project, Agua Caliente, Achieves 250 Megawatts of Grid-Connected Power
TEMPE, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced that the Agua Caliente
solar project has achieved a peak generating capacity of 250 megawatts
(MW)AC connected to the electrical grid. The project, which
is under construction in Yuma County, Ariz., is currently the world's
largest operating photovoltaic (PV) power plant and will have a
generating capacity of 290 MWAC when completed.
Initial construction work at the award-winning Agua Caliente site began
in the fall of 2010 and solar module installation began in June of 2011,
incorporating First Solar's latest advances in system layout and design,
optimized balance-of-system components, and integrated work-flow
engineering. The resulting efficiencies enabled the project to begin
commercial operation just seven months later in January 2012 when it
began generating 30 MW of clean electricity for the grid, and it
surpassed 100 MW of grid-connected power this spring and 200 MW this
summer. Construction of the project is expected to be complete on
schedule in 2014.
The record-setting project has successfully met all of its contractual
milestones to date and exceeded targets for the speed, quality and
safety of the construction process. As a result, First Solar has
adjusted the construction schedule to a slower velocity in line with
future contractual milestones and the scheduled completion date. The
adjustments have provided First Solar with increased flexibility to
allocate its solar module supply to better serve increased demand in the
second half of 2012 across its portfolio of projects.
"The Agua Caliente project exemplifies how utility-grade solar PV power
can be rapidly deployed in a phased approach and seamlessly integrated
into the electrical grid," said Jim Tyler, Vice President of Development
Engineering in First Solar's Engineering, Procurement and Construction
Group. "We are extremely proud to set a new benchmark for the industry
with Agua Caliente, which incorporates the knowledge gained over years
of experience designing, building and operating utility-scale solar
projects for leading utilities and energy providers."
First Solar designed and is constructing the project using its advanced
thin-film photovoltaic modules and will operate and maintain the
facility for owners NRG Energy and MidAmerican Solar. Pacific Gas and
Electric Company has a 25-year power purchase agreement for the
project's electrical output, which is projected to displace
approximately 5.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide over 25 years,
the equivalent of taking more than 40,000 cars off the road annually.
The facility, which is owned by NRG and MidAmerican Solar, will employ a
daily average of 400 to 450 workers during the construction period.
The Agua Caliente project is being financed with support from a loan
guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy's Loan Programs Office.
About First Solar, Inc.
First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic
(PV) solar systems which use its advanced thin-film modules. The
company's integrated power plant solutions deliver an economically
attractive alternative to fossil-fuel 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, please visit www.firstsolar.com.
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 described herein.
First Solar, Inc.
+1 (602) 427-3318
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Source: First Solar, Inc.
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