8minutenergy Renewables, an independent solar power developer in the U.S., broke ground for its 137 MW Springbok 1 Solar Farm, located 70 miles north of Los Angeles in Kern County, California.
Springbok 1 Solar Farm has a signed power purchase agreement with the Southern California Public Power Authority, on behalf of its participating member, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP).
The Springbok 1 project is a utility-scale solar power facility sited on up to about 700 acres of abandoned farmland taken out of production more than 20 years ago.
“This is an exciting day for everyone involved in the Springbok 1 project, as we move one step closer to providing clean energy to the people of Los Angeles,” said 8minutenergy CEO Martin Hermann. “We began Springbok 1 in 2011, and the solar farm is yet another example of 8minutenergy delivering projects from conception to construction.”
Once it reaches commercial operations in June 2016, the Springbok 1 project is expected to displace the equivalent of about 300,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, which is equal to the amount that roughly 12 million trees would displace annually.
The solar power system for Springbok 1 Solar Farm is comprised of state-of-the-art solar photovoltaic modules, related power electronics and other components including an advanced tracking system that follows the sun to maximize energy production.
The solar farm project has also created an estimated 300 direct and 400 indirect jobs during construction in Kern County, and 8minutenergy has helped host local job fairs with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.