SOURCE: Sharp Electronics Corporation

Sharp Electronics Corporation

September 27, 2010 11:11 ET

Sharp Signs Contract for 58 MW (DC) Photovoltaic Solar Power Project

Multi-Project Facility Will Be Among the Largest of Its Kind in the World

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - September 27, 2010) - Sharp Electronics Corporation, a subsidiary of Japan's Sharp Corporation, a World Leader in Solar Electricity, announced a supply agreement for the 58 MW (DC) (45 MW ac) Avenal photovoltaic solar power facility. When completed, Avenal will be among the largest of its kind in the world.

Avenal consists of three adjacent projects, all located on agricultural land near the city of Avenal in Kings County, Central California. The Avenal Solar Power Facility was developed by Eurus Energy, a global renewable energy development company and is jointly owned by Eurus and NRG Solar, a wholly owned subsidiary of NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG). All three projects will utilize thin film solar modules from Sharp, a global leader in solar electricity. Ryan Company, Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of Quanta Services (NYSE: PWR), will perform engineering, procurement and construction for the project.

The power produced by Avenal, enough to power approximately thirty six thousand homes when operating at peak capacity, will be purchased by PG&E under 20-year power purchase agreements approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). 

Construction on the first two projects, Sun City (25 MW DC) and Sand Drag (24 MW DC) will begin immediately and a third, Avenal Park (8 MW DC), is expected to begin construction soon thereafter. When all three are commissioned in mid 2011, they will displace over 225,000 pounds of NOx, 630,000 pounds of SOx and 70,000 metric tons of CO2 per year, the equivalent of removing nearly 20,000 cars from the road. It's expected the project will create up to 200 total jobs during construction and up to 5 permanent jobs. 

"This project is one of the largest solar power installations in the world, and one of the largest Sharp has supplied to date. It also marks a significant step forward for California's renewable energy efforts and we are proud that our cutting edge thin-film modules will help deliver clean power to the residents of California," said Eric Hafter, senior vice president for the Sharp Solar Energy Solutions Group. "Together with Eurus Energy America and NRG Solar, we are turning land that once used photosynthesis to convert the sun's rays to produce food for our communities into a farm that uses photovoltaics to convert the sun's rays into clean energy for the same communities."

The Sharp thin-film solar panels utilized for the project feature Sharp's tandem-junction design that captures a wider part of the solar spectrum. The panels will be manufactured in the Sharp plant in Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture, Japan. This plant is one of the greenest manufacturing sites in the entire world. Thin-film solar cells have a structure in which thin layers of silicon are deposited onto a glass substrate, enabling a dramatic reduction in the amount of silicon used. The production processes are simpler, thereby lowering production costs.

"Eurus Energy America is excited to team with Sharp on this historic solar installation," said Mark Anderson, president & CEO, Eurus Energy America. "We look forward to growing our portfolio of renewable generation assets and furthering our strong relationship with Sharp, a highly reliable partner with a high quality line of thin-film products."

"With nearly 50 years in the solar electricity business and a commitment to the industry that is supported by one of the world's most advanced solar panel manufacturing facilities, Sharp stands ready to supply the growing market for large scale solar installations," said Kozo Takahashi, CEO and Chairman, Sharp Electronics Corporation.

"Sharp's expertise and experience will be an important contribution to the success of Avenal in adding zero-emission solar power in California and in helping the state meet its ambitious renewable portfolio standard by the end of the decade," said Tom Doyle, President of NRG Solar. "As the current owners of the largest PV site in the state, we are looking forward to joining with our partners on Avenal, Eurus, Sharp and Quanta and the state of California to develop a site that adds more than twice that solar capacity to the state's portfolio."

About Sharp
Sharp Electronics Corporation is the U.S. subsidiary of Japan's Sharp Corporation, a worldwide developer of one-of-a-kind home entertainment products, appliances, networked multifunctional office solutions, solar energy solutions and mobile communication and information tools. Leading brands include AQUOS® Liquid Crystal Televisions, 1-Bit™ digital audio products, SharpVision® projection products, Notevision® multimedia projectors, Insight® Microwave Drawer appliances, SuperSteam™ ovens, Plasmacluster® air purifiers and the OnEnergy™ solar system. For more information visit Sharp Electronics Corporation at www.sharpusa.com.

About Eurus Energy America
Eurus Energy America (www.eurusenergy.com) is the wholly owned subsidiary of Tokyo-based Eurus Energy Holdings and is responsible for North American renewable energy development and investment, currently comprising approximately 600 megawatts in wind power generation. Eurus Energy Holdings, owned by Tokyo Electric Power Company and Toyota Tsusho Corporation, is a global developer, owner and operator of renewable energy facilities, including both wind and solar, with more than 1,900 megawatts worldwide. Eurus Energy America, headquartered in San Diego, California, has been active in the renewable energy sector in the United States for over twenty years, beginning operations of its first renewable power projects in California in 1987.

About NRG and NRG Solar
NRG Energy, Inc., a Fortune 500 company, owns and operates one of the country's largest and most diverse power generation portfolios. Headquartered in Princeton, NJ, the Company's power plants provide more than 24,000 megawatts of generation capacity -- enough to supply more than 20 million homes. NRG's retail business, Reliant Energy, serves 1.6 million residential, business, commercial and industrial customers in Texas.

NRG Solar is responsible for developing, constructing, financing and operating a multi-technology portfolio of solar power assets in North America. NRG owns the largest operating photovoltaic solar project in California, a 21 MW facility in Blythe. The solar power generated at Blythe alone will displace approximately 27,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually -- the equivalent of taking over 4,800 cars off the road.

A past recipient of the energy industry's highest honors -- Platts Industry Leadership and Energy Company of the Year awards, NRG is a member of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), a group of business and environmental organizations calling for mandatory legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. More information is available at www.nrgenergy.com.

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