Agua Caliente ahead of schedule

NRG Energy says construction of its 51% owned 290MW (AC) Agua Caliente solar PV project in Arizona is several months ahead of schedule and is now scheduled for completion in early 2014.

Agua Caliente, which will become the world’s largest operating solar PV facility, achieved commercial operation on 30 September.

MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company acquired a 49% interest from NRG Energy in January 2012. Terms were not disclosed.

First Solar designed and is building the project using thin-film solar modules. It will also operate and maintain the facility.

Agua Caliente is being financed with support from a loan guarantee from the US Energy Department Loans Programme Office.

Power generated by Agua Caliente is being sold under a 25-year power purchase agreement to California utility Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

The project is expected to offset 5.5 million metric tons of CO2 over 25 years.