NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NRG) and First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) announced an agreement for First Solar to construct NRG's 26 megawatt (AC) Avra Valley solar project near Tucson, Ariz. Electricity from the Avra Valley solar project will be sold to Tucson Electric Power under a 20-year power purchase agreement.
The project will utilize First Solar's advanced thin-film photovoltaic technology, mounted on the company's single-axis tracker system, which rotates the solar modules to follow the sun throughout the day. The tracker system extends the peak energy production period, providing more electricity in the afternoon, when energy demand is greatest.
"NRG and First Solar have built a very strong working relationship, starting with our first 21 megawatt project in Blythe, California, to our most recently completed 20 megawatt Roadrunner solar generating station in New Mexico," said James Kelly, Director of Development for NRG Solar. "We look forward to working with First Solar on the Avra Valley project that, when completed, will help Arizona meet its renewable energy goals."
Construction on the project, which is expected to begin this month, will create an estimated 200 jobs. First Solar expects to complete Avra Valley by the end of 2012.
"We are proud to once again work with NRG as they add to their renewable energy portfolio and create clean energy for Arizona," said Jim Lamon, First Solar Senior Vice President for EPC and Operation and Maintenance. "We're excited to construct this utility-scale project using our proprietary tracker system, which maximizes the energy output of a solar facility."