First Solar buys 150 MW Solar Gen 2 photovoltaic project in California

Construction of the facility, which is located in Imperial County, California, near El Centro, is expected to start this year and be completed in 2014

Solar power firm First Solar Inc. bought the 150 MW Solar Gen 2 power project from an affiliate of The Goldman Sachs Group, Energy Power Partners and a third equity partner for the project.

Construction of the facility, which is located in Imperial County, California, near El Centro, is expected to start this year and be completed in 2014.

The photovoltaic (PV) solar energy plant will generate enough renewable electricity to power more than 60,000 average California homes, displacing more than 115,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year (the equivalent of taking 22,000 cars off the road) and saving 93,000 metric tons of water per year.

The electrical output of the project will be purchased by San Diego Gas & Electric Co. (SDG&E) under a 25-year power purchase agreement. Solar Gen 2 is expected to provide on average more than 800 construction jobs in Imperial County, an area currently suffering from high unemployment.

Financial terms were not disclosed. The acquisition includes 40 MW of solar modules that the project previously purchased from another supplier, which will be integrated into the installation. First Solar will supply the balance of modules for the power plant, along with its project development, engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and grid integration services.

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