Big Arizona Solar Project Gets $1 billion Government Loan Guarantee

Located on 2,400 acres of farmland in Yuma County, Arizona near the communities of Dateland and Hyder, the Agua Caliente Solar Project is a 290 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) generating facility sponsored by NRG Solar, and built with photovoltaic solar panels from First Solar.

When fully operational, the 290MW Agua Caliente Solar Project will generate enough clean solar energy to serve the needs of about 100,000 average homes per year, displacing approximately 220,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year. Pacific Gas & Electric Company has contracted to purchase the project's output for 25 years.

The early construction phase has already begun, and according to NRG Solar, the construction will create 400 jobs. NRG will invest $800 million of equity through 2014.

When operational, the solar plant will provide good green jobs to 16 local workers, and will benefit many local businesses.

“Solar power is critical to transitioning our nation to having a greater emphasis on large-scale clean energy technologies and it is going to be projects of the scale of Agua Caliente that will help us achieve this ambitious goal,” said David Crane, President and CEO of NRG Energy. “This investment significantly increases our presence in the state and benefits the residents of Arizona while providing attractive returns to NRG’s stakeholders.”

"Solar projects like this are helping the U.S. to compete globally for the clean energy jobs of today and the future," said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "The Obama Administration is committed to bringing innovative renewable energy technologies to the market to support the country's transition to a clean energy economy."

The Agua Caliente Solar project will be the largest solar project using a photovoltaic system. The largest solar project, the 1,000MW Blythe project, uses solar thermal technology.

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