Turlock Irrigation District and SunPower signed a 20-year power purchase agreement under which TID will buy renewable solar power from SunPower.
To serve the agreement, SunPower is starting construction this month on a 54 MW solar photovoltaic power plant at the company's Rosamond Solar site in Kern County, which is expected to be operational by the end of 2016.
TID anticipates the plant to generate an equivalent amount of energy to serve about 20,000 homes.
It will also add another resource to the district's already diverse portfolio of certified environmentally-friendly greenhouse-gas-free resources, which include wind, eligible small hydro, geothermal and photovoltaic solar power.
Construction at the Rosamond Solar site, which is located in Kern County's Antelope Valley, is expected to begin this month on the 54 MW plant for TID, as well as on a 54 MW plant to serve Stanford University, announced earlier this year. In total, Rosamond Solar may support up to 300 MW of solar power generation, creating about 350 jobs during peak construction at the site next year.
The TID board of directors approved making this solar power acquisition in March of this year after a comprehensive bidding and study process. TID was open to all qualified technologies, with or without storage, and inside or outside TID, and received 129 proposals from 29 different entities.