In August 2011, the Department of Energy issued a $967 million loan guarantee to finance Agua Caliente, a 290-MW photovoltaic (PV) solar generation project that reached full commercial operations in April 2014. The project features more than 4.9 million of First Solar’s thin-film cadmium-telluride solar modules.
Agua Caliente is the first utility-scale photovoltaic plant to use new inverter technologies that make the plant more reliable and allow operation during larger voltage variations than traditional inverters. These variations can be caused by cloud cover or dust that causes voltage spikes or drops. Use of this technology will also improve the delivery of clean electricity generated by photovoltaic systems to the utility grid. Increasing grid reliability will enable greater deployment of utility-scale photovoltaic renewable power generation projects.
Agua Caliente created 400 construction jobs and is expected to support 10 permanent jobs. The project used approximately 39,000 metric tons of American steel.
Agua Caliente is expected to generate 559,000 MWh of clean energy annually. It is expected to prevent approximately 312,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year.
|PROJECT SUMMARY||Owners||NRG Solar, LLC & MidAmerican Renewables, LLC|
Yuma County, Arizona
Loan Amount 1
|Issuance Date||August 2011|
|ENERGY SUMMARY||Operation Status||Operating|
|Generation Capacity||290 MW|
|Projected Annual Generation 2||559,000 MWh|
|ECONOMIC IMPACT||Permanent U.S. Jobs Supported||10|
|U.S. Construction Jobs Supported||400|
|CLIMATE BENEFIT||CO2 Emissions Prevented Annually||312,000 Metric Tons|
All information up-to-date as of June 2017.
1 Approximate amount of the loan facility approved at closing including principal and any capitalized interest.
2 Calculated using the project's and NREL Technology specific capacity factors. For cases in which NREL's capacity factors do not encompass project's specific design and operation, project specific capacity factors are used.
3 Estimated at the time of closing.