First Solar, Inc. announced it has signed power purchase agreements with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) for 72 megawatts AC of solar electricity to be generated at two photovoltaic power plants that First Solar is developing in central California. The 32-megawatt Lost Hills project in Kern County and the 40-megawatt Cuyama project in Santa Barbara County are expected to create up to 600 jobs at peak construction. Project construction could start in 2013 as soon as the development process is complete, depending on plans of the projects' eventual owners. Together, Lost Hills and Cuyama will produce enough clean, renewable energy to power some 24,000 California homes, offsetting approximately 45,000 metric tons of CO2 annually—the equivalent of taking about 8,900 cars off the road each year.
"We are very pleased to add these projects to PG&E's solar portfolio, helping it and California reach their renewable energy goals," said Brian Kunz, First Solar Vice President of Project Development. "Grid-friendly utility-scale power plants from First Solar are readily integrated into the electrical infrastructure."
The power purchase agreements—each with a delivery term beginning in 2019—are subject to approval by the California Public Utilities Commission, whose decision is expected in the first half of 2013.