Agua Caliente Solar Project
|Agua Caliente Solar Project|
|Location||Yuma County, Arizona|
|Commission date||April, 2014|
|Construction cost||$1.8 billion|
|Owner(s)||NRG Energy and BHE Renewables|
|Operator(s)||First Solar Services|
|Site area||2,400 acres (971 ha)|
|Units operational||5.2 million First Solar panels|
|Nameplate capacity||290 MWAC|
|Capacity factor||28.6% (2016-2020)|
|Annual net output||727 GW·h|
|Website||Agua Caliente Solar Project|
The Agua Caliente Solar Project is a 290 megawatt (MWAC) photovoltaic power station, built in Yuma County, Arizona using 5.2 million cadmium telluride modules made by the U.S. thin-film manufacturer First Solar. It was the largest solar facility in the world when the project was commissioned in April 2014.
39 MW was online as of December 2011 and 100 MW was completed as of April 2012. 200 MW was completed as of July 2012, and 247 MW in August 2012, when the 10th section was completed. The addition of more panels has halted until 2013, with crates of panels covered to protect them. Full power was achieved ahead of schedule in September 2013.
In August 2011, the Department of Energy finalized a $967 million loan guarantee for the project. The project sponsor, NRG Solar, estimated the photovoltaic generation facility would fund approximately 400 construction jobs and 16 full-time operating jobs, and would become one of the largest plants of its kind in the world when completed. The power produced is being sold to PG&E (Pacific Gas & Electric) in California in a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement.
The Series 3 thin film panels use CdS/CdTe, and are rated from 77 watts to 82.5 watts each, and are mounted at a fixed tilt angle. 20,940 are connected in each array, rated at 1.26 MWAC. 400 SMA 720CP inverters were initially foreseen, but in the end 500 SMA 630CP are used. Installed modules total power is 410 megawatt-peak (MWDC).
In February 2012, Agua Caliente competed in the Excellence in Renewable Energy Awards and won Project of the Year Award.
Agua Caliente Solar Project's production is as follows, averaging 727 GW·h annual, yielding about 300 MW·h/acre.
The Loan Programs Office projected annual generation, calculated using the project's and NREL Technology specific capacity factors, was of 559 GW·h. Sector estimates predicted an average production of about 626 GW·h each year. 
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- "Arizona project reaches 100MW mark". UPI. 26 April 2012.
- Katie Fehrenbacher (16 July 2012). "Huge Arizona solar panel farm now 2/3 completed". Archived from the original on 2012-07-17. Retrieved 2012-07-16.
- "World's Largest Operational Solar PV Project, Agua Caliente, Achieves 250 Megawatts of Grid-Connected Power" (Press release). Tempe, Arizona: First Solar. September 10, 2012. Archived from the original on 2013-05-01. Retrieved June 17, 2013.
- Martin, Christopher; Doom, Justin (August 30, 2012). "First Solar Stops Installation at Agua Caliente Project". Bloomberg. Retrieved June 17, 2013.
- "Agua Caliente Solar Project, Monthly". Electricity Data Browser. Energy Information Administration. Retrieved 2020-04-18.
- "Department of Energy Finalizes a $967 Million Loan Guarantee to Support the Agua Caliente Solar Project". Energy.gov. August 5, 2011.
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- "Excellence in Renewable Energy Awards Winners: Project of the Year and Readers' Choice". Renewable Energy World. 17 February 2012. Archived from the original on 9 April 2014. Retrieved 14 March 2021.
- http://www.power-technology.com The world's biggest solar power plants, 29 August 2013
- "Top Plant: Agua Caliente Solar Project, Yuma County, Arizona". December 1, 2014.
- Olson, Syanne (March 7, 2012). "SMA tapped to deliver more than 400 inverters for Agua Caliente solar project". PVTech. Retrieved June 17, 2013.
- "Top Plant: Agua Caliente Solar Project, Yuma County, Arizona". www.powermag.com. Access Intelligence, LLC. 1 December 2014. Archived from the original on 18 August 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
The plant is predicted to produce an average of about 626 GWh each year
- "Session 4 - PV Plant Design and Operations" (PDF). www.osti.gov. 18 September 2012. p. 9. Archived from the original on 20 March 2021. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
- "Agua Caliente". Loan Programs Office. www.energy.gov. U.S. Department of Energy. 2011. Archived from the original on 12 January 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
Agua Caliente is expected to generate 559,000 MWh of clean energy annually