California had a mandate to get a third of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. The contract is to provide power at higher than average rates as it was negotiated before the PV panel market collapsed. The 550 mega-watt project is expected to be completed by H1 2015.
Speculation is rife as to whether the move by MidAmerican represents a new solar strategy for the company or whether the purchase is a once off.
Greg Abel, MidAmerican CEO: “Adding solar energy to our generation portfolio is a strategic move to invest in yet another renewable energy source. This project also demonstrates that solar energy is a commercially viable technology without the support of governmental loan guarantees and reflects the type of solar and other renewable generation that MidAmerican will continue to seek to add to its unregulated portfolio.”
More here: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/07/us-firstsolar-midamerican-idUSTRE7B60N020111207