NRG's Alpine Solar project begins operation

NRG Energy through a wholly-owned subsidiary has begun commercial operations at the 66MW Alpine Solar Generating Station photovoltaic facility, which will generate power for 53,000 homes in California at peak daytime capacity.

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is purchasing all power under a 20-year contract.

“Large-scale solar generation like Alpine and other NRG solar sites provide clean energy during the hottest part of the day when it’s needed most, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and the resulting carbon emissions,” says Randy Hickok, senior vice president of NRG Solar.

The company estimates the solar farm will avoid the annual emission of approximately 36,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, the equivalent of taking more than 6,600 cars off the road.

First Solar will maintain and operate the facility.

PG&E says electricity from Alpine will help it meet California’s 33% renewable portfolio standard by 2020.

“Pacific Gas and Electric Company remains committed to providing our customers with a comprehensive portfolio of energy resources that incorporates all forms of cost-effective clean energy as California marches forward into a clean energy future,” says Fong Wan, senior vice president of energy procurement at PG&E.

NRG Solar has seven other large-scale solar facilities either in operation or under construction in Arizona, California and New Mexico.