LOS ANGELES, USA: The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has joined forces with SolarWorld to develop an 11.6-megawatt (MW) DC solar system that will generate clean, renewable solar energy to power homes in Los Angeles.
The project pairs the nation's largest municipal utility with the largest and most experienced US manufacturer of crystalline solar power technology. LADWP will install, own and operate the system while SolarWorld will supply complete system engineering and high-performance solar panels and procure balance-of-system components, including advanced SMA America inverters to convert power from the system to 10 MW AC power for transmission to Los Angeles.
Work on the project commenced in February at the LADWP's existing high-desert Adelanto Switching and Convertor Station, after the Board of Water and Power Commissioners approved the project agreement in December 2010. Preliminary designs for the project have been delivered, soil testing has concluded and detailed engineering at Adelanto is now under way.
Aside from supplying 46,322 250-watt SolarWorld Sunmodules, the company will tap project engineering expertise of SolarWorld specialists in the company's Camarillo operations, which have pioneered solar technology since 1975.
The Adelanto project is expected to produce 22,400 megawatt-hours (MWH) during its first year and 515,700 MWH over a 25-year period. The system will feature several innovative design elements, including interconnection into a critical bulk-grid substation as well as a more efficient, leading-edge 1,000-volt solar power system. Further, the system will incorporate SolarWorld Sunfix ground-mount systems featuring flexible aluminum structures to minimize site-preparation costs.
"The technical features of Adelanto are advanced, and the design requirements are more sophisticated than typical systems of this size," said Raju Yenamandra, U.S. vice president of sales and a 30-year veteran of SolarWorld's plant in Camarillo. "But having built the world's first 1 MW system in California in 1981 and adapted many system types since then, we look forward to once again demonstrating our project-engineering ingenuity."
The Adelanto solar array will be built on a 42-acre site about 65 miles north of Los Angeles in the town of Adelanto, Calif. The station there serves as the southern terminus of LADWP's Southern Transmission System, which links Southern California with renewable energy wind farms and the existing Intermountain Power Project in Utah.
The Adelanto project is one of three LADWP renewable energy projects to be financed by federal Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds. The bonds, offered through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, save LADWP customers money by subsidizing loan interest costs.