First Solar, NextEra Power-Purchase Deals to Get CPUC Approval

First Solar Inc. and NextEra Energy Inc. are expected to receive approval to sell solar and wind power from two projects in the western U.S. to California utilities.

The California Public Utilities Commission listed the two contracts on its consent agenda of items that will be approved at a meeting today, according to filings from the regulatory body. Terms and project costs weren’t disclosed.

The agreements will help the utilities’ efforts to adhere to a state guideline that they get a third of their energy from renewable sources by 2020.

Edison International’s Southern California Edison Co. will purchase for 20 years the output from First Solar’s 250-megawatt Silver State South project in Nevada. It’s scheduled to begin producing electricity in May 2017, according to a filing.

Silver State South, acquired as part of First Solar’s $285 million purchase of the project developer NextLight Renewable Power LLC in 2010, was originally planned to be as large as 400 megawatts. The site in Clark County can accommodate more solar panels, though additional federal permits would be required, Alan Bernheimer, spokesman for the Tempe, Arizona-based solar company, said by telephone.

First Solar, the world’s biggest maker of thin-film solar panels, is developing the project adjacent to its 50-megawatt Silver State North plant that is near completion and will sell its output to NV Energy Inc., Bernheimer said.

PG&E Corp.’s Pacific Gas & Electric Co. will buy the output from NextEra’s 163.2-megawatt North Sky wind farm in Tehachapi, California, for 25 years.

The contract is with the Juno Beach, Florida-based company’s NextEra Energy Resources LLC unit, the largest U.S. generator of wind and solar power. North Sky is scheduled to enter operation by Dec. 31, according to a filing, and will use General Electric Co. wind turbines.

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