Largest Solar Power Plant In World Now Under Construction

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This article was originally published on Solar Love.

MidAmerican Solar and SunPower Corp. have just marked the start of the 579-Megawatt Antelope Valley Solar Projects with a community celebration.

Antelope Valley solar
Image Courtesy of SunPower

The huge three-year construction project is expected to employ around 650 workers and generate more than $500 million in regional economic impact.

Split into two projects located in Kern and Los Angeles counties (California), the Antelope Valley Solar Projects will be the world’s largest solar power development under construction.

Once completed, the solar projects are expected to produce enough energy to power approximately 400,000 average California homes with clean, renewable solar power.

According to Paul Caudill, president of MidAmerican Solar:

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. We look forward to continuing our involvement in the Rosamond, Lancaster and Palmdale communities and, as we move forward, in the surrounding areas.

MidAmerican Solar owns the Antelope Valley Solar Projects, while SunPower is designing and developing the projects and is the engineering, procurement, and construction contractor.

SunPower will also provide operations and maintenance services for the plants via a multiyear services agreement.

SunPower president Howard Wenger had this to say about the projects:

The start of construction on the Antelope Valley Solar Projects underscores that solar is a reliable, cost-competitive energy source. 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.

Southern California Edison has agreed to two long-term power purchase contracts for the Antelope Valley Solar Projects.

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 solar panels.

The SunPower solar panels will be mounted on SunPower® T0 Trackers to help position the panel throughout the day — by tracking the sun and increasing energy capture by up to 25%.

The electricity produced will displace approximately 775,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. That’s the equivalent of taking approximately 3 million cars off the road over the next 20 years.

MidAmerican Solar and SunPower definitely had a lot to celebrate at the community picnic and celebration. The celebration was held at the project site west of Rosamond. Attending the community picnic were representatives from both companies.

Some of the topics discussed included the construction schedule, environmental values, technology, and community-centered plans for the future.

With more than 250 attendees, including local and state officials, the community picnic earmarked a milestone in the future development of clean, renewable energy in Antelope Valley and all across the world.

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