MidAmerican buys world’s largest solar project from SunPower

4 January 2013 (Last Updated January 4th, 2013 03:30)

MidAmerican Solar has acquired the 579MW Antelope Valley Solar Projects (AVSP) from US-based solar panels manufacturer SunPower.

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MidAmerican Solar has acquired the 579MW Antelope Valley Solar Projects (AVSP) from US-based solar panels manufacturer SunPower.

Together the two projects, co-located in Kern and Los Angeles Counties in California, will form the largest permitted solar photovoltaic power development in the world.

SunPower has been developing the AVSP over the last four years at a 3,230-acre site where its Oasis Power Plant product, fully-integrated, modular solar technology will be installed.

Final conditional use permits for the AVSP has already been secured and a full environmental review was completed in line with the California Environmental Quality Act.

Construction work is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2013, and the solar plants are expected to be completed by the end of 2015.

Under the two long-term power purchase contracts approved by the California Public Utilities Commission, the AVSP will provide clean electricity to power utility Southern California Edison (SCE).

For these projects SunPower will serve as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor, and also operate and maintain the facility through a multi-year services agreement.

The AVSP is expected to offset over 775,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually; the equivalent of removing about three million cars from California's highways over 20 years of the project's operation.

Both solar power projects are expected to create an estimated 650 jobs during the construction period.

MidAmerican Renewables president Bill Fehrman said: "We are excited about these projects because they support our core business principle of environmental respect."

Commenting on the sale of AVSP, SunPower regions president Howard Wenger said it marks a historic milestone for the energy industry in the US.

"SunPower is proud to partner with MidAmerican Solar and SCE, recognised leaders in clean energy development, bringing critically needed jobs and economic opportunity to California and helping the state achieve its renewable portfolio requirement," Wenger added.


Image: The AVSP projects in California could offset over 775,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year. Photo: courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.