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Southern California Edison Adding 711 Megawatts of Solar Power

Near Los Banos, California
Sun-drenched Los Banos, California.
(cc) Justin Barton

SunPower Corp. announced today that it has signed three power purchase agreements with Southern California Edison (SCE) for delivery of a total of 711 megawatts (MW) of solar power. SunPower will install its solar technology at sites in Rosamond and Los Banos, California.

“This is an important turning point for solar photovoltaic power,” said Marc Ulrich, SCE’s vice president, Renewable and Alternative Power. “The advances in photovoltaic technology, coupled with economies of scale, enable SCE to provide Californians with a large-scale power plant’s worth of emission-free energy at a competitive price.”

“This historic 711-MW commitment by SCE reflects the growing value of solar photovoltaic technology as a reliable, cost-effective energy resource delivered across rooftops or as a central-station power plant,” said Howard Wenger, president of SunPower’s utility and power plants business group. “SunPower’s world-leading high-efficiency technology and history of reliable performance will maximize the solar energy delivered to SCE’s customers.”

SCE estimates that the 711-MW capacity will provide the equivalent power required for more than 460,000 average California homes.

The three contracts include:

  • 110 MW in Los Banos, California, scheduled to be operational by year-end 2014.
  • 325 MW in Rosamond, California, scheduled to be operational by October 2016.
  • 276 MW in Rosamond, California, scheduled to be operational by October 2016.

At the sites, SunPower will deploy the SunPower Oasis power plant, the energy industry’s first modular solar power block that provides a cost-effective way to rapidly deploy utility-scale solar. Engineered to optimize use of available land, each SunPower Oasis power block uses high-efficiency, 425-watt SunPower solar panels with the SunPower T0 Tracker, which positions the panels to track the sun during the day, resulting in up to 25 percent more energy capture over fixed-tilt solar power systems. Additional SunPower Oasis features include pre-manufactured cabling to minimize on-site wiring, the Oasis smart inverter control system to enhance grid interoperability, and SunPower’s Tracker Monitoring and Control System for wireless control of the power plant.

These contracts are a result of SCE’s voluntary competitive renewables solicitation, and are contingent on approval by the California Public Utilities Commission and SunPower’s ability to secure all applicable environmental reviews and permits.

The capacity of these projects are described in an alternating current (AC) basis.

Read Large-Scale Solar Power Systems: Construction and Economics from Amazon.

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