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SunPower Corp. today announced an agreement with Iberdrola Renewables to design and build a 30-megawatt photovoltaic solar power plant, the San Luis Valley Solar Ranch, on 216 acres of private, former agricultural land in Colorado’s Alamosa County. Expected to be fully operational by the end of 2011, construction will begin this year and create approximately 100 jobs.
Iberdrola Renewables is developing the solar ranch, and will own and operate it. The company will sell the electricity under a long term contract to Xcel Energy, for distribution on the region’s utility grid. The project will create employment opportunities and provide revenue for schools, health, fire, and other critical services in Alamosa County.
“Partnering with skilled performers like SunPower is always vital when developing successful renewable energy projects,” said Martin Mugica, executive vice president of Iberdrola Renewables. “Proven construction experience and established technology make for an excellent choice and allow Iberdrola Renewables to deliver reliable products to our customers.”
The plant will use SunPower E19 solar panels, the most efficient solar panels on the market, mounted on SunPower Tracker systems, which generate up to 25 percent more energy per land area than conventional systems and reduce land-use requirements. SunPower Trackers tilt the solar panels toward the sun as it moves across the sky, increasing energy capture and providing more power on hot summer days when utilities need it most.
“Today, high-efficiency solar PV technology is competitively-priced for power plant applications. It’s fast to install, and reliably delivers clean power, particularly during peak demand hours,” said Howard Wenger, president of SunPower’s utility and power plant business group. “We congratulate Iberdrola Renewables for its leadership in the promotion of solar power development, and for demonstrating how renewable technologies are part of the solution to ensure the health of our economy and our environment.”
SunPower has more than 600 megawatts of large solar power systems installed or under contract worldwide.
Founded in 1985, SunPower designs, manufactures, and delivers the planet’s most powerful solar technology broadly available today. Residential, business, government and utility customers rely on the company’s experience and proven results to maximize return on investment. With headquarters in San Jose, California, SunPower has offices in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia.
Read Large-Scale Solar Power Systems: Construction and Economics from Amazon.