MidAmerican Renewables buys 550 MW Topaz Solar Farm from First Solar

The 550-MW photovoltaic power plant being built in San Luis Obispo County, Calif., will have the capacity to generate enough renewable energy to power about 160,000 average California homes

Des Moines, Iowa and Tempe, Ariz., February 1, 2012 — MidAmerican Renewables, LLC, a unit of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., announced it has completed its acquisition of the Topaz Solar Farm from First Solar, Inc.

The 550-MW photovoltaic power plant being built in San Luis Obispo County, Calif., will have the capacity to generate enough renewable energy to power about 160,000 average California homes.

The Topaz project will be built, operated and maintained by First Solar. Construction began in December 2011 and is expected to be complete by early 2015. The project will create about 400 construction jobs and 15 ongoing operations and maintenance jobs.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. will purchase the electricity from the Topaz project under a 25-year power purchase agreement, helping California meet its mandate to generate 33 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2020.

Developed by First Solar, the Topaz project will incorporate the company's thin-film PV modules, which generate electricity with no emissions, waste or water use and have the smallest carbon footprint of any PV technology. Electricity generated from the Topaz project will displace about 377,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year — the equivalent of taking about 73,000 cars off the road.

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