NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NRG) and SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) will celebrate today the first 22 megawatts (MW) of the 250-MW California Valley Solar Ranch (CVSR) being delivered to the electrical grid.
NRG Energy and SunPower announced the first 22 megawatts online at California Valley Solar Ranch in San Luis Obispo County, 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles. (Photo: Business Wire)CVSR is one of the largest central station photovoltaic solar plants in the world. It has created approximately 350 jobs since construction started in September 2011, and is expected to inject $315 million into the local economy over its two-year construction period. NRG completed the acquisition of CVSR on September 30, 2011. Once completed, CVSR will power a yearly average of 100,000 homes with clean, renewable solar energy, while protecting and conserving more than 12,000 acres of land in and around the Carrizo Plain in southeastern San Luis Obispo County, about 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Electricity from CVSR is being sold to PG&E through 25-year power purchase agreements. “The private sector’s role is to demonstrate successful performance that speeds commercialization of technology—on time and on budget—and that’s what we’re doing at CVSR and all of NRG’s major solar projects,” said Tom Doyle, president of NRG Solar and NRG’s West Region. “Equally important, through large scale deployment, the private sector is accelerating cost reductions through supply chain improvements, lower balance of system costs and progress through experience that can’t be achieved at the lab bench or in the factory.” NRG is the sole owner of the project, which is expected to be fully online by December 2013. SunPower designed the project, and is working with Bechtel to provide balance of plant engineering and procurement services and construction services. Once completed, NRG and SunPower will jointly operate and maintain CVSR for two years, after which NRG assumes sole responsibility.