First Solar Inc. has announced that the Agua Caliente solar project has achieved a peak generating capacity of 250 MW connected to the electric grid.
The project, which is under construction in Yuma County, Ariz., is currently the world's largest operating PV power plant and will have a generating capacity of 290 MW when completed.
Initial construction work at the Agua Caliente site began in fall 2010, and solar module installation began in June 2011. The project began commercial operation in January 2012, when it began generating 30 MW of clean electricity for the grid, and it surpassed 100 MW of grid-connected power this spring and 200 MW this summer.
Construction of the project is expected to be complete in 2014. First Solar designed and is constructing the project using its thin-film photovoltaic modules and will operate and maintain the facility for owners NRG Energy and MidAmerican Solar.
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has a 25-year power purchase agreement for the project's output. The project is being financed with support from a loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy's Loan Programs Office.