NRG Energy to purchase 250 MW California Valley Solar Ranch05. October 2011 | From the Editor, Markets & Trends | By: Jonathan Gifford
On the final closing of a Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantee for the project, SunPower will sell to NRG Energy the California Solar Ranch. Construction on the project began last month and is expected to be completed in two years.
NRG Energy currently owns five other large-scale solar projects in California. For the initial two years after the plant’s completion, NRG Energy and SunPower will share operations and maintenance on the project with that transferring solely to NRG Energy after the period.
SunPower provided the design and construction on the project with Bechtel being the EPC provider.
NRG Energy’s Tom Doyle said, in a statement announcing the acquisition: "Working with companies that offer cutting-edge but proven technology and solar expertise has enabled NRG to become the leading developer of solar power in the country." He added that such projects create jobs and contribute towards California reaching its renewable portfolio standards.
The DOE provided a conditional loan guarantee for the project in April. The guarantee is up to USD $1.237 million. Power from the California Valley Ranch will be sold to the utility Pacific Gas and Electric through a 25-year power purchase agreements.
SunPower representatives underlined the historic nature of the plant project. "The agreement SunPower announced three years ago with PG&E to build the California Valley Solar Ranch launched the first market for central station solar PV power plants in the world," said SunPower’s Howard Wenger.
SunPower has also announced that is has taken steps to reduce its financing expenses, by entering into a new revolving credit facility worth $275 million.
In other power plant sales news, First Solar announced the sale of its 550 MW Desert Sunlight Solar Farm after legal proceedings involving the plant were dropped. NextEra Energy Resources was the buyer of the plant, located near the town of Blythe.
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