Located in Riverside County in southeastern California, the solar PV field will provide electricity to Southern California Edison (SCE) under a 20-year power purchase agreement. At peak capacity, the site will be able to meet the needs of approximately 17,000 homes.

David Crane, president and CEO of NRG Energy, said: “Partnering with companies like First Solar to add large-scale PV solar to the fleet of solar thermal power plants, we are developing with eSolar positions us to lead the industry in the commercial implementation of solar technologies where America can best reap the benefits of this emission-free power.”

As part of the acquisition of the nearly completed Blythe Solar project, NRG Solar has entered into an engineering, procurement and construction agreement with First Solar for completion and performance testing of the project. Testing is expected to commence later this month, and the project to be completed by year end.

The site uses approximately 350,000 photovoltaic solar modules, manufactured with First Solar’s thin film semiconductor technology to turn sunlight directly into electricity. It covers approximately 200 acres of held land which is permitted and will be connected to SCE’s electrical distribution grid.

NRG Solar is responsible for developing, constructing, financing and operating a multi-technology portfolio of solar power assets in North America. Blythe is part of NRG’s zero-emission solar strategy that also includes plans to construct commercial-scale solar thermal generation at sites in California and New Mexico. The first of these units is anticipated to start operations as early as 2011.