The first portion of the 579 MW Solar Star development — two projects co-located in Kern and Los Angeles counties in California — was successfully synchronized and is now delivering energy to the California ISO grid.
When complete, the 579 MW Solar Star projects are expected to have more than 1.7 million panels installed, covering 3,230 acres. MidAmerican Solar estimates that the projects will provide electricity equivalent to powering nearly 255,000 average California households.
According to estimates provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), electricity generated from the projects will displace about 570,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year — the equivalent of taking more than 100,000 cars off the road.
The Solar Star projects are owned by MidAmerican Solar. SunPower Corp. designed and is constructing the projects, and will provide operations and maintenance services. Construction on the projects began in early 2013 and is expected to be complete by year-end 2015.
The projects currently employ about 600 workers at the site.
The development is expected to generate more than $500 million in regional economic benefits, the majority of which will be generated during construction. Southern California Edison will purchase electricity from the projects under two long-term power purchase contracts.