First Solar agrees to build major California project for NextEra

First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) said Oct. 16 that it has reached agreement to build a 250 MW (AC) solar project in Riverside County, Calif., for a NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) subsidiary.

Under the agreement, First Solar will provide engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services for the McCoy Solar Project. McCoy will be located on 2,300 acres of mostly public land provided by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approximately 13 miles northwest of Blythe, Calif.

Construction is expected to begin in late 2014, with completion in late 2016. The project will provide up to 400 construction jobs at peak operation.

NextEra has said that the McCoy Solar LLC project could eventually have the capacity to produce 750 MW. It would use a proposed interconnection with the Colorado River substation. The U.S. Interior Department approved the project in March. California Gov. Jerry Brown has also fast-tracked the McCoy facility.

The project is located near the 550-MW AC Desert Sunlight project, jointly owned by a subsidiary of NextEra, General Electric (NYSE:GE) subsidiary GE Energy Financial Services, and Sumitomo Corporation of America, currently under construction by First Solar. An affiliate of NextEra Energy Resources also previously purchased two projects built by First Solar in Canada.

“First Solar is pleased to have this opportunity to work again with NextEra,” said Roger Bredder, First Solar’s Director of Business Development for the U.S. “And we are proud to continue providing jobs in Riverside County.”

Formed in 1999, First Solar describes itself as the leading global provider of photovoltaic (PV) solar energy solutions. The company is involved in “every aspect of the solar value chain,” according to the First Solar website.

In December 2012, NextEra Energy Resources commissioned the 10,000th MW of wind power. The NextEra Energy subsidiary is the largest generator in the United States of renewable energy from the wind and sun, according to its website.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.