Agua Caliente, CVSR ahead of plan

NRG Energy says construction of the 290MW Agua Caliente and 250MW California Valley Solar Ranch solar PV projects are both ahead of schedule.

Agua Caliente, located in southwestern Arizona, became the largest operating solar PV plant in the US on 30 June when it reached 278MW of generating capacity. It is scheduled to reach full commercial operation in early 2014.

Power generated by Agua Caliente is being sold under a 25-year power purchase agreement to Pacific Gas and Electric Co (PG&E). NRG owns a 51% interest in the project. The other 49% is held by MidAmerican Renewables, a subsidiary of MidAmerican Energy Holdings, part of billionaire Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate.

NRG’s fully-owned California Valley Solar Ranch project had 127MW in commercial operation by 30 June, with the balance expected on line by fourth quarter.  PG&E is also buying the power under 25-year PPAs.

NRG is also part-owner with Google and BrightSource of the 377MW Ivanpah concentrating solar power complex under construction in California. Upon completion in the fourth quarter, Ivanpah will be the largest solar thermal power tower system in the world.

Power from Units 1 and 3 will be sold to PG&E via two 25-year PPAs, and power from Unit 2 will be sold to Southern California Edison (SCE) under a 20-year PPA.