MidAmerican Solar and SunPower announce that the first portion of their 579MW Solar Star development was successfully synchronized and is now delivering energy to the grid. The two projects making up this portion of the development are co-located in Kern and Los Angeles counties in California.
MidAmerican Solar and SunPower (Nasdaq: SPWR) announced that the first portion of the 579MW Solar Star development – two projects co-located in Kern and Los Angeles counties in California – was successfully synchronized and is now delivering energy to the grid.
The Solar Star projects are owned by MidAmerican Solar. SunPower designed and is constructing the projects, and will provide operations and maintenance services. Construction on the projects began in early 2013 and is expected to be complete by year-end 2015.
The projects currently employ approximately 600 workers onsite. The development is expected to generate more than $500 million in regional economic benefits, the majority of which will be generated during construction. When complete, the 579-megawatt Solar Star projects are expected to have more than 1.7 million panels installed, covering 3,230 acres.
Southern California Edison (SCE) will purchase electricity from the projects under two long-term power purchase contracts. MidAmerican Solar estimates that the projects will provide electricity equivalent to powering nearly 255,000 average California households. Electricity generated from the projects will displace approximately 570,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, the equivalent of taking more than 100,000 cars off the road.
“This announcement is significant for the state of California,” said Mike Fehr, MidAmerican Solar’s general manager at the Solar Star projects. “It demonstrates that we are fulfilling our promise to the local community and regulators and delivering expected results, based on our construction timeline, to help California meet its mandate to generate 33 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2020. We want to thank the many stakeholders that made this milestone possible, including California ISO, Southern California Edison, county officials, local community members and contractors. We remain committed to safely constructing one of the largest solar developments in the world in the Antelope Valley area.”
Paulette Rush, MidAmerican Solar’s community relations specialist for the Solar Star projects, added: “This most recent announcement is quite an accomplishment considering construction began just one year ago.”