The prospects for solar power in Kern County got a big jolt last week with the news that MidAmerican Solar, a subsidiary of MidAmerican Renewables, has acquired the 579-megawatt Antelope Valley Solar Projects (AVSP). The two co-located projects in Kern and Los Angeles Counties will form the largest permitted photovoltaic power development in the world.
MidAmerican Renewables is a subsidiary of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, which in turn is controlled by Berkshire Hathaway. Warren Buffet is the CEO and chairman of the latter.
According to Mid American, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that the project will result in a reduction (offset) of 775,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. This is equivalent to removing almost three million cars from California highways over the project's expected lifetime of 20 years.
The project was formerly owned by SunPower and will create an estimated 650 jobs during construction. SunPower will construct and operate the facilities. Construction is scheduled to begin in first quarter 2013, with the plants expected to be complete by year-end 2015. The generated power will be sold to and distributed by Southern California Edison.
“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.”
As stated in MidAmerican's press relese, "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."
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