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MidAmerican Solar acquires 579-megawatt projects in California

MidAmerican Solar has acquired the 579-megawatt Antelope Valley Solar Projects in California from SunPower Corp.

The project is actually two co-located projects that will form the largest permitted solar photovoltaic power development in the world.

According to estimates provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the project will offset more than 775,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

SunPower developed the co-located Antelope Valley projects over the last four years at a 3,230-acre site in Kern and Los Angeles counties. The projects are using SunPower’s Oasis Power Plant product, a fully integrated modular solar technology for utility-scale power projects. The panels are mounted on trackers which allow them to track the sun, increasing the energy capture of the Oasis product by 25 percent.

The project has secured final conditional use permits and completed full environmental review in line with the California Environmental Quality Act.

Construction will begin in first quarter 2013 with the plant expected to be completed by the end of 2015. Around 650 jobs will be created during the construction period.

SunPower will be provide the engineering, procurement and construction contractor and will operate and maintain the facility under the terms of a multiyear agreement with MidAmerican Solar.

The energy generated will be sold to Southern California Edison under two long-term power purchase contracts.

MidAmerican Solar is a subsidiary of MidAmerican Renewables which is likewise subsidiary of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company. MidAmerican Rewables has a total portfolio of 1,830 megawatts of wind, geothermal, solar and hydro assets.

Aside from Antelope Valley, MidAmerican Solar’s projects include the 550-MW Topaz Solar Farm (see related story) also in California, and the 290-MW Agua Caliente project  (see related story) in Arizona, of which it has a 49 percent share. – EcoSeed Staff

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