Late last week MidAmerican Solar and SunPower announced that a portion of the 579 MW Solar Star project was successfully syncronised and is now confirmed as delivering energy to the California independent service operator (ISO) grid.
Owned by MidAmerica Solar, the Solar Star projects — which including two projects co-located in Kern and Los Angeles counties in California — are designed and constructed by SunPower, who will continue to provide operations and maintenance services. Construction began in early 2013 and is currently on schedule to be completed by the end of 2015, at which point Southern California Edison will purchase electricity under two long-term power purchase agreements.
When delivering on its full 579 MW portfolio, the Solar Star projects are expected to be generating enough electricity to power approximately 255,000 average Californian homes.
“We are pleased to connect and synchronize Solar Star’s first SunPower Oasis Power Blocks, totaling 57 megawatts, to the grid,” said Jorg Heinemann, SunPower executive vice president, customer operations and engineering, procurement and construction. “The project partners are working well together and with the community to deliver one of the world’s largest solar power plants on schedule.”
“The Solar Star projects are creating needed jobs and providing economic opportunities in the Rosamond, Lancaster andPalmdale communities and surrounding areas,” said Paulette Rush, MidAmerican Solar’s community relations specialist for the Solar Star projects, referencing the approximate 600 jobs currently created by the project. “We’re committed to working hand-in-hand with the development’s neighbors and supporters and look forward to celebrating our milestones with the local community. This most recent announcement is quite an accomplishment considering construction began just one year ago.”
On top of the economic stimulus provided by creating jobs, the development is expected to generate more than $500 million in regional economic benefits.
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