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First Solar and NRG Energy open 21 MW solar PV power plant in California

NRG Energy Inc has started commercial operation of the 21 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant in Blythe, California, it bought from First Solar in November.

Electricity generated by the solar power plant will be sold to Southern California Edison (SCE) under a 20-year power purchase agreement.

The Blythe plant is the largest thin-film solar PV project in the United States and is five times the size of the next largest PV project in California, according to First Solar.

California Governor Arnold Scharznegger, says: "It is no surprise that America's largest thin-film solar project was built right here in California, where my administration has successfully created a climate where green businesses can thrive. It is forward-thinking businesses such as First Solar that will help California reach its nation-leading greenhouse gas reduction and Renewable Portfolio Standard goals, as well as create the new green jobs that will help spur our economic recovery."

The Blythe plant is a model for First Solar's future large-scale solar developments, the solar company says. "The development, project finance and construction of this solar plant demonstrate First Solar's capabilities in utility scale projects," says Bruce Sohn, president of First Solar. "With a three-month build-out, we are pleased to be bringing it online ahead of schedule."

The Blythe solar power plant uses First Solar's thin-film solar PV panels. The plant is expected to generate over 45 GWh of electricity annually.

First Solar will provide operations and maintenance services at Blythe under a long-term contract with NRG.

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