Today, NRG Energy, Inc. announced that it has acquired the first and largest utility-scale photovoltaic Blythe Solar Project in California, through its wholly owned subsidiary NRG Solar LLC. The 21 megawatt project will be NRG’s first solar generation facility; NRG acquired the site from First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR).

As part of the acquisition, NRG Solar has entered into an engineering, procurement and construction agreement with First Solar for completion and performance testing. Testing will commence later this month; the company expects the project to be completed by year’s end.

Located in Riverside County, 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 almost 17,000 homes. The site uses approximately 350,000 2×4 foot photovoltaic solar modules that convert sunlight into electricity using First Solar’s advanced thin film semiconductor, covering approximately 200 acres of held land. The project uses no water during normal operation.

David Crane, NRG Energy President and CEO, commented, “Successfully transitioning to a low-and no-carbon energy environment means using renewable resources that are located where the demand is. 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.”

NRG Solar’s President, Tom Doyle, added, “Solar fields generate the greatest amount of clean energy when electricity demand is highest, making this an ideal technology for utilities, municipalities and companies looking to diversify their renewable portfolios and reduce carbon intensity while ensuring that energy needs are met. With this acquisition, NRG joins with SCE to add to and further diversify their portfolio of low- and no-carbon generation while we establish a relationship with First Solar and a platform for future solar development.”