Note: This article was previously posted (July 2007) on RenewableEnergyAccess.com, and was found again on GreenBiz.com in case anyone was looking for it.
Cleantech America LLC, a San Francisco company announced Friday plans to build what it claims will be the world’s largest solar power farm.
Privately-held Cleantech America LLC will partner with Kings River Conservation District to build the 80 megawatt photovoltaic solar facility in Fresno County. It will supply power to the recently-created San Joaquin Valley Power Authority (SJVPA), which is comprised of 12 member cities that joined together to buy bulk electricity.
Construction of the plant, called the Kings River Conservation District Community Choice Solar Farm, will occur in three phases, and plan to be completed by 2011. As a zero emissions plant, it will avoid more than 100 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year and create thousands of jobs, the company said.
“Solar on this scale would unquestionably attract many solar manufacturing, fabrication and related jobs to the San Joaquin Valley, and further promote the region’s growing image as California’s ‘Solar Valley,'” said Bill Barnes, Cleantech America LLC’s CEO, in a statement.
“And because in-grid zero emission solar provides peak power when it is needed most, during the hottest times of day during the hottest times of the year, it supports increased generation reliability in the region,” he said.
Cleantech America also is constructing a smaller five megawatt plant in sunny Fresno County called CalRENEW-1, the company announced in late June. Scheduled for completion in 2009, the 40-acre plant will provide solar power to Pacific Gas and Electric Co. for its customers in northern and central California.
According to the Cleantech America, a 15 megawatt solar plant is also slated for construction in Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.
Cleantech America Plans
The new Cleantech America solar plant will be about seven times the size of the world’s largest facility and double the largest planned farm, both in Germany, Reuters reported.
Barnes told Reuters Cleantech must now buy the acreage for the solar farm, connect the farm with transmission lines and contract with a manufacturer of photovoltaic solar panels.
“This is a visionary step by Kings River Conservation District,” said Bill Barnes. “The extraordinary economies of scale which can be achieved by facilities of this magnitude would have a dramatic effect on helping solar energy achieve grid parity.”