SAN JOSE, Calif., – SunPower has officially announced that construction has started on a 9.5-megawatt (AC) solar power plant in Los Angeles County, Calif., which will generate power for use by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR). Located on DWR’s property adjacent to its Pearblossom Pumping Plant, southeast of Palmdale, the project is expected to be operational by the end of this year.
“This is an important project that will help us achieve our 2050 goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels,” said Veronica Hicks, chief of the State Water Project Power and Risk Office of DWR.
“Solar is cost-competitive with traditional energy sources today, and is helping fiscally responsible public agencies reduce electricity costs to better serve their constituencies,” said Howard Wenger, SunPower president, business units. “We commend DWR for managing its significant energy demand by relying on abundant, renewable solar power. The high performance SunPower technology we are installing for the agency will maximize the clean, renewable solar power generated over the long term.”
DWR will purchase the power generated by the plant under a power purchase agreement (PPA) with SunPower. The PPA provides DWR with competitive electricity rates. DWR is retaining the renewable energy credits associated with the system.
SunPower designed and is installing a SunPower® Oasis® Power Plant system at the site. Oasis is a fully-integrated, modular solar power block that is engineered for rapid and cost-effective deployment of utility-scale solar projects while optimizing land use. The technology includes robotic solar panel cleaning capability that uses 75 percent less water than traditional cleaning methods and can help improve system performance by up to 15 percent.
SunPower calculates the annual output from the power plant will be equal to the electricity needed to power approximately 8,500 electric vehicles for 30 years. The plant is expected to offset the equivalent amount of annual carbon emissions as 157 acres of preserved U.S. forests can neutralize in one year, according to estimates provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.