First Solar announced that the 550-megawatt Topaz project in San Luis Obispo County, California will not meet the September 30 deadline to receive a federal loan guarantee from the DOE. According to the firm, there was insufficient time to process all requirements by the deadline specified in Section 1705 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
The project, which is expected to generate 1.1 million megawatt-hours of energy, received a conditional commitment for a $1.9 billion loan guarantee from the DOE in June. Expected online in 2014, First Solar was to sell energy from the project to Pacific Gas & Electric through a 20-year power purchase agreement.
First Solar is in talks regarding the sale and financing of the project with potential buyers that will use a different transaction structure, absent the DOE loan guarantee.
First Solar’s 550 megawatt Desert Sunlight project and 230 megawatt Antelope Valley Solar Ranch 1 (AVSR1) project, also recipients of conditional commitments for DOE loan guarantees on June 30, remain in the DOE loan pipeline.