The commercial operation of the largest solar project in California has started with the help of partnership between First Solar Inc. and NRG Energy Inc.. Moreover, New York is also all set to undertake its largest solar project.
The 21-megawatt (MW) power plant in Blythe, Calif., was built by First Solar, and was acquired by NRG last month, through its subsidiary NRG Solar.
According to First Solar, the electricity generated by the solar facility will be sold to Southern California Edison (SCE), under a 20-year power purchase agreement.
The Blythe plant is said to be the largest project in the United States, using thin-film PV and is also five times the size of the next largest PV project in California.
According to NRG, the Blythe plant will be able to generate more than 45,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year, and will be able to supply power to 17,000 homes, reducing almost 12,000 metric tons of carbon emissions annually.
However, due to some water issues, especially in California, regulators are trying to get solar operators to use dry cooling which uses almost 90% less water, although it might be costly and have lesser efficiency.
Other states, such as New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida and Delaware are also following California in the solar field.
Recently, the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) has approved 20-year power purchase agreements for the biggest solar energy project in New York.
Developed and built by BP Solar International Inc. and enXco Development Corp. (enXco), the $423 million solar project will generate 50 MW of electricity for LIPA’s electric grid, supplying power to 6,500. It is expected that the project will be fully operational by mid-2011.
The carbon dioxide emissions will also be reduced by more than 45,300 tons per year as a result of the project.