U.S. solar company First Solar has been installing the vast 550 MW Topaz solar project since November 2011. At the time ground was broken at the site, First Solar said that it expected to installation to take three years: It came in one month early.
A project this size was never a sure thing, but First Solar has managed to deliver and install nine million of its CdTe thin film modules, across almost 10 square miles (26 square kilometers).
First Solar completed the sale of the project to MidAmerican Renewables LLC in February 2012, having announced the agreement to sell it in December 2011. MidAmerican, which is owned by legendary investor Warren Buffetts Berkshire Hathaway, paid $2 billion for the PV power plant.
The project has a 25-year PPA, signed with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E).
First Solar is not commenting on the news of the parks completion and pv magazine has contacted MidAmerican Renewables for confirmation and more details. It is understood that First Solar will carry out O&M on the site, under the sale deal, for a time.
The Topaz Solar project had hit some bumps along the road to completion, including local opposition and potential legal action regarding wildlife affected by the park. Part of the agreement Topaz Solar Farms struck with local groups North County Watch and Carrizo Commons will see the solar farms operators regenerate the land after the parks decommissioning at the end of its 35 year life.
Topaz also missed out on a Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantee in 2011, in the wake of module maker Solyndras failure and the subsequent political pressure the guarantee program came under. The Topaz Solar project did not meet the statutory deadline to receive a loan guarantee, due to permitting delays.
The vast solar park will not remain the worlds largest for long, with First Solars own 550 MW Desert Sunlight project set to join it and SunPowers 579 MW Solar Star surpass it when they are completed. GTM Research reports that the Desert Sunlight has around 524 MW installed, with the SunPower 309 MW.
This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: email@example.com.
By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.
Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. Any other transfer to third parties will not take place unless this is justified on the basis of applicable data protection regulations or if pv magazine is legally obliged to do so.
You may revoke this consent at any time with effect for the future, in which case your personal data will be deleted immediately. Otherwise, your data will be deleted if pv magazine has processed your request or the purpose of data storage is fulfilled.
Further information on data privacy can be found in our Data Protection Policy.