Clean Power

Published on January 20th, 2016 | by Joshua S Hill


First Solar Signs 500 MW PPA With Southern California Edison

January 20th, 2016 by  

Leading global solar PV provider First Solar has signed a 500 MW Power Purchase Agreement with Southern California Edison.

According to an announcement by the company on Tuesday, First Solar has signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the off-take of electricity generated by four solar projects totaling 500 MW with Southern California Edison (SCE), making SCE the single largest off-taker of energy from First Solar projects in the world.

The PPAs are for four solar power projects located in California, Nevada, and Arizona, and all currently in development by First Solar, and all expected to be completed and commissioned by the end of 2019. These projects are:

  • The 150 MWAC North Rosamond Solar Project, located in Rosamond, Calif., will occupy approximately 1,175 acres of private land, and will produce approximately 488,000 MWh/year.
  • 100 MWAC from the Willow Springs Solar Project, located near the North Rosamond Solar Project in Rosamond, Calif., which will occupy approximately 1,450 acres of private land, and will produce approximately 330,000 MWh/year.
  • The 100 MWAC Sunshine Valley Solar Project will be located in Amargosa, Nev., less than four miles from the California border, on privately owned land. It will produce approximately 302,000 MWh/year.
  • The 150 MWAC Sun Streams Solar Project will be located on approximately 1,500 acres of land in Tonopah, Ariz., and will produce approximately 464,000 MWh/year.

“This is an exciting milestone to reach in a valued long-term relationship,” said Brian Kunz, First Solar’s Vice President of Project Development – US West. “As an early off-taker, SCE was visionary in their inclusion of utility-scale solar in their energy mix. Their commitment to providing rate-payers with clean, affordable renewable energy continues with this set of agreements.”

This brings SCE’s total off-take from First Solar up to 2.2 GW, dating all the way back to a PPA signed for the 21 MW Blythe Solar Project in 2009.

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I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (, and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at for more.

  • ADW

    First Solar will produce in the range of 2.7 GW worth of panels this year.

    The next nuclear power plant in the USA to go on line is expected to be Vogtle 3, in mid-2019, followed by V4 in 2020. 1.1 GW each in size.

    By 2020 First Solar should have shipped over 13 GW of panels; for a lot less money than Vogtle 3&4 current estimate of $21B

    • Tom G.

      I worked in the nuclear power industry for about 25 years. In the beginning it was the “in thing” and over 100 reactor units were built. Today that number is significantly smaller and continues to fall each year. And the number new units being built is limited by several factors but mostly by the fact that very few people are willing to invest the capital [$] in a $4-$20 billion dollar facility.

      Small Modular Reactors, Traveling Wave Reactors, Molten Salt Reactors and even some breeder reactors are all being examined to ensure we use up the remaining energy in the used fuel from our old BWR/PWR plants. In most cases there is still about 90% usable energy left in this spent fuel.

      But do I think there will be a resurgence in nuclear power. Probably not but that doesn’t mean we won’t be building a few plants to burn up our old spend fuels. But long term – I believe we will be looking to our nuclear reactor in the sky for our long term energy needs. Once solar panels become about 40-60% efficient, there really will no excuse for not going solar.

      And yes ADW; I really do miss going to work every day as a Certified Quality Engineer by the American Society for Quality at the two unit PWR nuclear plant I helped build and operate safely. Totally loved the job. Writing Topical Reports, Auditing processes and procedures and training other engineers to do their work safely. It was a great job and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

      Have a great day.

      • Bob_Wallace

        Higher panel efficiency would be great but not necessary. Higher efficiency with the price per watt held constant would mean some savings in BOS costs – shipping, racking, ‘real estate’ and installation labor. But as long as less efficient continue to decline in price and other BOS costs are reduced PV solar will be fine.

        PV solar is now around 6c/kWh in the US. It is expected to drop to the 2c to 4c range. That’s cheap enough for solar to be wildly successful.

      • ADW

        For the record, I really loved nukes and was proud we had the largest fleet in the world. But today, I have moved away. The cost of new construction is high and always has been (Seabrook NH was way over budget in the mid-’80’s) on-going maintenance is high, then we have the shut down and decommission cost which we are just starting to experience and understand. In New England we are paying for the three Yankee Power plants and now Pilgrim to be shut down.

        I feel we do need at least one breeder style to help burn off a lot of the spent fuel, but I wonder if it will get built or we will just ship it all to France.

        Maybe one of the small module style reactor firms will actually make it to production, but I am no longer sure it can happen because of the cost. You never know, wind and solar were so far out of cost model for so long then suddenly the cost curve turned downward. Maybe it will happen with nuclear?

        • Bob_Wallace

          I ran into an interesting article today, let me copy over a bit…

          “Let me just give you a bald fact,” says J. Doyne Farmer, an Oxford University professor of math and complexity economics. “Nuclear power and solar photovoltaics both had their first recorded prices in 1956. Since then, the cost of nuclear power has gone up by a factor of three, and the cost of PV has dropped by a factor of 2,500.”

          In the last 30 years wind has dropped from $0.38/kWh to under $0.04/kWh. Unsubsidized.

          Nuclear is running in the 13 to 19 cent range with subsidies.

          • ADW

            WOW! That is amazing….thanks

          • Bob_Wallace

            I can’t say that I ever loved nuclear. But when I became aware of climate change and our need to get off fossil fuels it seemed to me that we would have to move to nuclear and accept the added risk to our lives and live with radioactive waste. Wind and solar were simply too expensive.

            Years later, the world is a different place.

          • super390

            The inertia in the public understanding of the relative price of energy from different sources really alarms me. No one outside of forums like this actually knows how cheap solar and wind have gotten. Nuclear power seems to cast some kind of spell on people such that they forget to check the money, as though it were still an extension of the sacred Pentagon budget. Maybe that’s what got investors into nuclear in the first place. And the fanboys of both nuclear power and the Pentagon share incredible tenacity in relentlessly citing every justification except: how is your way better for ordinary people than another way RIGHT NOW? Solar has finally become the RIGHT NOW.

          • Bob_Wallace

            In the last few months I’ve seen what I think is a great increase in pro-nuclear articles. Most are posted on places which do not allow comments. Feels like a major push for more support.

            I think there’s a good chance that the industry is getting desperate, making a big push to stay in the game. To find another sucker.

          • jeffhre

            Maybe a Thorium reactor can be sold as a clean up plan for all of the dirty by products left over from todays HPWRs.

          • Bob_Wallace

            A thorium reactor would run on thorium, not on nuclear waste.

            BTW, there are reactors which could be run on thorium today, but they aren’t.

          • jeffhre

            They are certainly not going to be sold on price. Will have to try a different motivator to make the sale.

  • BillW

    Who knew there was a Tonopah in Arizona, as well as the one in Nevada?

  • Tom G.

    Way to go Edison. Every kWh of solar we install means just a little bit better air quality for everyone to breathe.

    • jeffhre

      Edison has a response for you. So what!

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