First Solar announced Wednesday that its Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One has achieved a peak generating capacity of 100 megawatts (MW) connected to the electrical grid.
But that’s only half of the end goal. When construction is completed later this year, the ranch, located in northern Los Angeles County, will have a generating capacity of 230 MW.
Construction of Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One was initiated in September of 2011, with module installation taking place in June 2012. As a result, the project has provided an average of 400 jobs during the construction phase.
The project has a fantastic interactive website which keeps users up to date on the construction process, with videos and images of the installation, and easy-to-understand statistics and savings.
“We are proud to achieve this important clean energy milestone for California, which was made possible by the tireless efforts of hundreds of individuals working together. We especially appreciate the support of LA County’s Fifth Supervisorial District staff and the departments of Regional Planning and Public Works for their contributions to making this project a success,” said Lou Moore, First Solar Senior Vice President of Engineering, Procurement and Construction.
“Unlike traditional power plants, the modular nature of PV power projects enables us to quickly add substantial volumes of clean energy to the grid throughout the construction process. This shorter ‘time to energy’ is another key advantage of PV solar electricity.”
Dennis Hunter, Deputy Director of Los Angeles County Public Works, congratulated First Solar on its achievement at Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One. “We appreciated the opportunity to work with the First Solar team to reach this operational milestone,” he said.
Upon completion the facility will generate enough power for 75,000 average California homes and displace an approximate 140,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. That’s the equivalent of seeing 30,000 cars disappear from the roads each year!
The power the plant is generating is being purchased by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) under a 25-year contract.
Source: First Solar