Economic benefits of the project include about 250 construction jobs, as well as over $230 million in new economic activity to the Imperial Valley, according to a county study.
The project gained the approval it needed on Dec. 18, 2012, from the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) for easements required to cross IID's Westside Main Canal with the project's transmission line. Earlier approvals included a decision to issue a Right of Way grant from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and a Conditional Use Permit from Imperial County.
First Solar will construct the project using its advanced thin film PV modules that generate clean, renewable energy with no emissions, waste or water consumption during operation. The project will generate enough electricity to power about 50,000 average California homes, displacing 80,000 metric tons of CO2 per year, the equivalent of taking 15,000 cars off the road.