USA: MidAmerican Solar and SunPower Corp. marked the start of major construction at the Antelope Valley Solar Projects – two projects co-located in Kern and Los Angeles counties in California – with a community celebration.
The 579-megawatt development will employ approximately 650 workers during a three-year construction period; generate more than $500 million in regional economic impact, the majority of which will be generated during construction; and serve California’s growing electricity demand with clean, renewable solar power.
The Antelope Valley Solar Projects make up the world’s largest solar power development under construction. When complete, the projects will provide enough energy to power approximately 400,000 average California homes.
“The Antelope Valley Solar Projects are already creating needed jobs and economic opportunity in local communities, while at the same time, providing direct, long-term environmental benefits,” said Paul Caudill, president of MidAmerican Solar.
“We look forward to continuing our involvement in the Rosamond, Lancaster and Palmdale communities and, as we move forward, in the surrounding areas. The MidAmerican Solar team is committed to working hand-in-hand with the development’s neighbors and stakeholders. We also look forward to providing a reliable source of renewable energy to our customer Southern California Edison.”
“The start of construction on the Antelope Valley Solar Projects underscores that solar is a reliable, cost-competitive energy source,” said Howard Wenger, SunPower president, regions. “SunPower is proud to partner with MidAmerican Solar and Southern California Edison on this historic project, which is bringing critically needed jobs and economic opportunity to California today and will generate abundant clean, renewable power to the state over the long term.”
The Antelope Valley Solar Projects are owned by MidAmerican Solar. SunPower designed and developed the projects and is the engineering, procurement and construction contractor. SunPower also will provide operations and maintenance services for the plants via a multiyear services agreement.
The Antelope Valley Solar Projects will provide renewable energy to Southern California Edison under two long-term power purchase contracts.
At the 3,230-acre site, SunPower is installing the SunPower Oasis power plant product, fully integrated, modular solar technology that is engineered to rapidly deploy utility-scale solar projects while minimizing land use. The Oasis product uses high-efficiency SunPower solar panels mounted on SunPower T0 Trackers, which position the panels to track the sun during the day, increasing energy capture by up to 25 percent. Construction began in January 2013 and is expected to be complete by year-end 2015.
Electricity generated by the projects will displace approximately 775,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year – the equivalent of taking approximately 3 million cars off the road over the next 20 years.