Clean Power

Published on June 17th, 2014 | by Nicholas Brown


NRG Community 1 Solar Facility Is Now Complete

June 17th, 2014 by  

On a patch of land owned by the SDSU lies the newly-built 6 MW (AC) Community 1 solar power plant, which comprises 25,000 solar panels that span 37 acres. This plant is large for a reason — it powers 2,200 households when operating at its maximum capacity.

The Community 1 solar power plant. Image Credit: Business Wire.

This solar power plant was developed by Sol Orchard in collaboration with the Center for Energy Sustainability at San Diego State University’s (SDSU) Imperial Valley Campus. Boeing provided engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) for this project.

While I advocate capitalizing on rooftop solar energy the most (because it conserves a great deal of land — 37 acres in this case), the Community 1 solar project is still a step in the right direction and centralized solar power plants such as these can power buildings which lack roof space. They can also reduce the electricity demand burden on local power plants.

The Imperial Irrigation District will purchase all of the solar power plant’s electricity via a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) and sell it to interested customers via a community solar programme.

“At NRG, we challenge the status quo, joining forces with the best to push the industry on innovation and new design, all with consumer needs in mind,” said Randy Hickok, senior vice president of NRG. “We’re truly excited to empower the Imperial Irrigation District’s community solar program which brings pioneering spirit and clean technology to their customers while doing something that will help ensure the future of our planet.”

Indeed! Solar isn’t just about saving money. We can’t move to another planet. Even if we could: we can’t keep causing problems and running away from them. We have to face them. That is how we mature as a civilization.

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

About the Author

writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is:

  • Wayne Williamson

    Something that just occurred to me is that maybe mixing farming and solar would be a good idea. Granted, the amount that either could produce would probably be cut in half. But solar panels need to be washed to remain efficient, and there is no reason that the residue from the panels shouldn’t be used to grow something…Just say’n

    • Matt

      While washing is required in dry/dessert environments. It isn’t required in much of the world that gets rain.

  • EnergySage

    While going solar can save you a lot of money on your electricity bill and improve your property value, at the end of the day you are benefiting the environment. Reduce your carbon emissions by 3-4 tons and change the status quo to favor solar energy by investing in a home solar PV system. Learn more about your property’s solar potential here. –

Back to Top ↑