First Solar Inc. announced that the Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One project has achieved a peak generating capacity of 100 MW connected to the electrical grid. The project, which is under construction in northern Los Angeles County, is currently California’s largest operating photovoltaic (PV) power plant and will have a generating capacity of 230 MW upon completion, expected later this year.
Initial construction on the solar project began in Sept. 2011 and module installation started in June 2012, providing an average of 400 jobs during the construction phase. Power from the plant is being purchased by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. under a 25-year contract.
When fully operational, the facility will generate enough power for 75,000 average California homes and will displace about 140,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year. This is equivalent to taking 30,000 cars off the road on an annual basis.
The Antelope Valley Solar Projects will provide renewable energy to Southern California Edison (SCE) under two long-term power purchase contracts approved by the California Public Utilities Commission.
SunPower developed the co-located Antelope Valley Solar Projects over the last four years. At the 3,230-acre site, SunPower will install the SunPower Oasis Power Plant product, fully integrated, modular solar power technology that is engineered to deploy utility-scale solar projects while minimizing land use.
Construction of the solar project is scheduled to begin in first quarter 2013, with the plants expected to be complete by year-end 2015.