MidAmerican Solar, a subsidiary of MidAmerican Renewables, and SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq:SPWR) announced MidAmerican Solar's acquisition from SunPower of the 579-megawatt Antelope Valley Solar Projects (AVSP), two co-located projects in Kern and Los Angeles Counties in Calif. Together, the two combined projects will form the largest permitted solar photovoltaic power development in the world and will create an estimated 650 jobs during construction.
"We are pleased to be working with SunPower on this project. MidAmerican Renewables, a subsidiary of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, has a total portfolio of more than 1,830 megawatts of owned assets, including wind, geothermal, solar and hydro assets," said Bill Fehrman, president of MidAmerican Renewables. "We are excited about these projects because they support our core business principle of environmental respect. We are very proud to add SunPower technology to our portfolio of projects."
The Antelope Valley Solar Projects will provide renewable energy to Southern California Edison (SCE) under two long-term power purchase contracts approved by the California Public Utilities Commission.
"The Antelope Valley Solar Projects mark a historic milestone for the energy industry," said Howard Wenger, SunPower president, regions. "We are delivering highly reliable low-cost renewable energy at a very large scale. SunPower is proud to partner with MidAmerican Solar and SCE, recognized leaders in clean energy development, bringing critically needed jobs and economic opportunity to California and helping the state achieve its renewable portfolio requirement."
"SCE appreciates the opportunity to work with SunPower and MidAmerican Renewables to meet California's renewable energy goals," said Nicole Neeman Brady, SCE's director of contracts, renewable and alternative power.
SunPower developed the co-located Antelope Valley Solar Projects over the last four years. At the 3,230-acre site, SunPower will install the SunPower® Oasis® Power Plant product, fully integrated, modular solar technology that is engineered to rapidly deploy utility-scale solar projects while minimizing land use. The Oasis product uses high-efficiency SunPower solar panels mounted on SunPower® T0 Trackers, which position the panels to track the sun during the day, increasing energy capture by up to 25 percent. In addition, SunPower will be the engineering, procurement and construction contractor and will operate and maintain the facility via a multiyear services agreement. Construction of the solar project is scheduled to begin in first quarter 2013, with the plants expected to be complete by year-end 2015.
AVSP has secured final conditional use permits and has completed full environmental review pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act.
According to estimates provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the project is expected to offset more than 775,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, which is equivalent to removing almost three million cars from California's highways over 20 years of the plant's operation.
MidAmerican Solar's projects also include the 550-megawatt Topaz Solar Farms in San Luis Obispo County, Calif., and a 49 percent ownership interest in the 290-megawatt Agua Caliente solar project in Yuma County, Ariz.
"We are pleased to be working with SunPower on this development and look forward to establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with Southern California Edison as our customer for energy generated by this project. As we have done at our other solar project locations, we will work hard to establish positive and productive relationships with community and county neighbors and stakeholders," said Paul Caudill, president, MidAmerican Solar.
SunPower has more than 1,000 megawatts of solar power plants operating worldwide, including the first 130 megawatts of the 250-megawatt California Valley Solar Ranch, which is under construction in San Luis Obispo County, Calif.