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MidAmerican Solar Acquires World’s Largest Solar Development

Jessica Lyons Hardcastle

MidAmerican Solar, a subsidiary of MidAmerican Renewables, has acquired the 579 MW Antelope Valley Solar Projects from SunPower, the companies announced yesterday.

The two co-located projects in California’s Kern and Los Angeles counties together will form the largest permitted solar photovoltaic power development in the world, the companies say.

According to the Associate Press, MidAmerican, which is owned by Warren Buffett, agreed to pay between $2 billion and $2.5 billion for the 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.

SunPower developed the co-located projects over the last four years. At the 3,230-acre site, SunPower will install the SunPower Oasis Power Plant product. 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, the company says.

In addition, SunPower will be the engineering, procurement and construction contractor and will operate and maintain the facility via a multiyear services agreement.

Construction is scheduled to begin in first quarter 2013, with the plants expected to be complete by year-end 2015.

The projects have secured final conditional use permits and completed full environmental review pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act.

According to the EPA, the projects are expected to offset more than 775,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

MidAmerican Solar’s projects also include the 550 MW Topaz Solar Farms in San Luis Obispo County, Calif., and a 49 percent ownership interest in the 290 MW Agua Caliente solar project in Yuma County, Ariz.

MidAmerican Renewables has a total portfolio of more than 1,830 MW of owned assets, including wind, geothermal, solar and hydro assets.

In late 2012, SunPower completed the largest solar system in the US Navy, a 13.78 MW solar photovoltaic power system at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake (NAWS China Lake) in California.

Photo Credit: SunPower



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