The deal has yet to be approved by Nevada regulators, but it is expected that they will make a decision by the end of the year. If it does, subsidiary NV Energy will be able to buy energy from the solar plant for only 3.87 cents per kilowatt.
Only last year, the same power company was paying 13.77 cents per kilowatt for alternative energy, which demonstrates how much more common and mainstream solar power is becoming.
The solar power company that made the offer, First Solar Inc., is developing a 100-megawatt solar project called Playa Solar 2. The deal has been offered at the perfect time, as Nevada now requires that power companies get more and more energy from alternative sources every year.
First Solar Inc.’s offer to NV Energy is not the only solar power company involved in the power-purchase agreement. The company also accepted an offer from SunPower Corp. for 4.6 cents per kilowatt, generated by their 100-megawatt Boulder Solar operation. That was the cheapest price offered last year. Solar generated by SunPower is cost-competitive with fossil fuel power and will only continue to get more competitive, according to SunPower Chief Financial Officer Tom Werner.
Previously, the cheapest electricity was found in Dubai, where a government-owned utility company and a solar power company made a deal for 5.87 cents a kilowatt. The farm in Dubai is capable of producing 200 megawatts of energy