Greentech Lead America: First Solar has sold its 100
percent stake in the 50 MW Silver State North photovoltaic (PV) project in
Clark County, Nevada to Enbridge.
Both the companies did not disclose terms of the
The acquisition shows that the U.S. solar market presents
significant growth opportunities given the excellent solar resource, supportive
regulatory environment and expanding portfolio of solar energy projects.
“Silver State North marks Enbridge’s entry into the
U.S. solar energy market and demonstrates Enbridge’s continuing commitment to
growing its green energy business, while delivering attractive returns and
stable cash flows,” said Don Thompson, vice president, Green Energy,
Silver State North was constructed under a fixed-price
engineering, procurement and construction agreement with First Solar.
The project is likely to start operation by May 2012.
First Solar will provide operations and maintenance services to Enbridge under
a long-term contract. NV Energy will purchase the energy output under a 25-year
power purchase agreement (PPA) approved in 2010 by the Public Utilities
Commission of Nevada.
“We are very proud to have completed construction of
the first utility-scale PV solar project on Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
land in Nevada, which would not have been possible without the hard work and
dedication of county, state and BLM officials,” said Frank De Rosa, First
Solar Senior Vice President for Business Development, the Americas.
Silver State North, which will use First Solar’s thin
film PV modules, will generate enough clean solar energy to serve the needs of
about 9,000 average Nevada homes per year, displacing about 42,000 metric
tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually – the equivalent of taking about 8,000
cars off the road.
The project will also contribute to helping Enbridge meet
its Neutral Footprint commitment to generate a kilowatt of renewable energy for
every kilowatt of conventional electricity that the company’s operations
The project complements Enbridge’s growing portfolio of
renewable and alternative energy technologies that now includes interests in
eight wind farms, four solar projects, a hybrid fuel cell and four waste heat
recovery facilities. Together, Enbridge’s investments in renewable energy have
the capacity to produce almost 1,000 MW of renewable energy.
First Solar will recognize revenue from Silver State
North after final testing and commissioning, expected in the second quarter of