Tempe-based First Solar Inc. will break ground on a power plant near Yuma after finalizing its purchase Monday of NextLight Renewable Power LLC, a solar-development firm.
NextLight designed what will become the 290-megawatt Agua Caliente Solar Project about 65 miles east of Yuma. First Solar will construct the facility and begin energy production in 2013 for PG&E, which serves much of California north of Los Angeles.
Agua Caliente will be the largest solar plant in the Southwest, with a capability of bringing power to 72,500 homes.
With the $297 million purchase, First Solar acquired two other major projects that NextLight had been designing: Boulder City Solar in Nevada, a 150-megawatt project, and AV Solar Ranch One in Southern California, a 230-megawatt project. Construction has not begun on either project.
NextLight brings an additional 1,100 megawatts of energy projects to First Solar, many of which are in the beginning phases, said Alan Bernheimer, First Solar spokesman.