Arizona solar project reaches 100MW mark

April 26, 2012 at 7:47 AM
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YUMA, Ariz., April 26 (UPI) -- Set to become the world's largest photovoltaic power plant, the Aqua Caliente project in Arizona reached the 100-megawatt milestone, companies said.

Executives from NRG Energy Inc., MidAmerican Solar and First Solar Inc., met with Arizona representatives to commemorate delivering the first 100 megawatts to the grid from the 290 MW Aqua Caliente solar project.

"Agua Caliente will provide a positive impact on the environment and create jobs," said Paul Caudill, president of MidAmerican Solar. "Projects such as Agua Caliente will play a central role in our nation's long-term electric energy supply and in our national transition to cleaner energy sources."

Utility company Pacific Gas and Electric has a 25-year purchase agreement for the project's entire capacity. When completed in 2014, it will be the largest PV power plant in the world, offsetting roughly 5.5 million tons of carbon dioxide during the next 25 years.

"Large-scale projects like this also help drive down the price of solar, which will make it even more cost-competitive with conventional electricity generation in the near future," NRG President Tom Doyle said.

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