The solar industry got a turbo-boost of both name recognition and mainstream credibility on Wednesday 7th as Warren Buffett’s investment company, MidAmerican, a subsidiary of Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway announced plans to purchase the Topaz Solar power development from thin-film PV module maker First Solar
. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The 550-megawatt Topaz project in San Luis Obispo County, Calif., is among the world’s biggest solar farms under development, and many times larger than any project currently in operation. The First Solar project was not able to close its conditional loan guarantee with the Department of Energy prior to the Sept. 30 deadline, but it has gone ahead anyway. Construction on the project began in November and is expected to run through 2015. According to First Solar, it will create about 400 construction jobs.
The $2 billion project will include First Solar’s thin-film panels, and the company will build, operate and maintain the project for MidAmerican. Pacific Gas and Electric will buy the electricity under a 25-year power purchase agreement