MidAmerican Solar and SunPower have commissioned the first phase of the 579MW Solar Star PV projects in Kern and Los Angeles counties, California.
Under the first phase, SunPower’s Oasis Power Blocks totalling 57MW have been synchronized and are delivering energy to the California ISO grid.
MidAmerican Solar owns the Solar Star projects, while SunPower is constructing them using its modular Oasis Power Blocks, and will also provide operations and maintenance services.
SunPower started construction on the development comprising two co-located projects in the first quarter of 2013 and expects to complete them during the fourth quarter of 2015.
Spanning across 3,230 acres of land, the projects are estimated to generate enough electricity to power around 255,000 average California households and curb approximately 570,000Mg of carbon dioxide annually.
The projects, featuring more than 1.7 million solar modules, will supply its output to Southern California Edison under two long-term power purchase contracts.
Acquired by MidAmerican Solar from SunPower in January 2013, the Solar Star development is expected to significantly contribute towards the economic growth by injecting more than $500m in economic benefits and creating around 650 construction jobs over a three-year period.
Additionally, the projects will help California meet its mandate to generate 33% of its power from renewable sources by 2020.
MidAmerican Solar community relations specialist for the Solar Star projects Paulette Rush said the projects are creating needed jobs and providing economic opportunities in the Rosamond, Lancaster and Palmdale communities and surrounding areas.
"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," said Rush.