NRG Energy and First Solar, have signed an agreement for First Solar to provide engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services for NRG's 66-MW (AC) Alpine solar project in Lancaster, California.
First Solar will also provide operations and maintenance (O&M) services. Electricity from the Alpine project will be sold under a 20-year power purchase agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric Company, helping California meet its ambitious renewable energy goals.
Construction is expected to start before the end of 2011 and be completed in Q3 2012, creating an estimated 250 jobs over the course of construction. The project will use First Solar's advanced thin film CdTe photovoltaic (PV) modules.
The electricity generated by Alpine is enough to serve a yearly average of nearly 25,000 homes, and more than double that number at maximum capacity during peak hours of the day. The project is expected to offset approximately 1.5 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gases over 20 years, the equivalent of taking over 15,000 cars off the road annually.
"Less than two years ago, NRG and First Solar began our productive collaboration for our first solar plant at Blythe, which at 21 megawatts was the largest solar plant in California at the time. Alpine is three times that size, so we've really come a long way together in a short amount of time," said Tom Doyle, president of NRG's Solar and West Region. "Working with world-class companies like First Solar, NRG's solar projects promote cleaner air, create hundreds of local jobs and advance our country's position in the global clean energy economy."
"First Solar is excited to be working again with NRG," said Jim Lamon, First Solar Senior Vice President for EPC and O&M. "Our experience developing and building out our 2.7 gigawatt North American pipeline of utility-scale PV projects enables us to get our customers' projects rapidly completed and connected to the grid."