**UPDATE: First Solar has announced that the project will not meet the September 30 statutory deadline to receive a federal loan guarantee from the DOE. There was insufficient time to process all requirements by the deadline specified in Section 1705 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. 

First Solar’s 550-megawatt Topaz Solar Farm received its final permit from San Luis Obispo County last week. 

With permitting complete, First Solar hopes to start construction by September 30 in order to remain eligible for financing from the Department of Energy. The project, which is expected to generate 1.1 million megawatt-hours of energy and displace approximately 377,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, received a conditional commitment for a $1.9 billion loan guarantee from the DOE in June. 

Expected online in 2014, First Solar will sell energy from the project to Pacific Gas & Electric through a 20-year power purchase agreement.