First Solar lines up Apple as customer for much of California Flats project

First Solar Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) said Feb. 10 that Apple has committed $848m for clean energy from First Solar’s California Flats Solar Project in Monterey County, Calif.

Apple will receive electricity from 130 MW (ac) of the solar project under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA), which First Solar called the largest agreement in the industry to provide clean energy to a commercial end user.

 “Apple is leading the way in addressing climate change by showing how large companies can serve their operations with 100 percent clean, renewable energy,” said Joe Kishkill, Chief Commercial Officer for First Solar. “Apple’s commitment was instrumental in making this project possible and will significantly increase the supply of solar power in California.”

The 2,900-acre California Flats Solar Project occupies 3% of a property owned by Hearst Corp. in Cholame, Calif. Construction is expected to begin in mid 2015, and to be completed by the end of 2016. The output of the remaining 150 MW of the project will be sold to Pacific Gas & Electric under a separate long-term PPA/ The project is fully subscribed between the Apple and PG&E PPAs.

In January, the Monterey County Planning Commission unanimously approved the California Flats Solar Project, sending the project to the Monterey County Board of Supervisors, which will consider final approval of the project on Feb. 10.

First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar systems which use its advanced module and system technology. The company’s integrated power plant solutions deliver an economically attractive alternative to fossil-fuel electricity generation today.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.