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24 February 2015

Desert Sunlight Solar Farm 550MW plant starts commercial operation

US Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell - along with about 150 federal, state and local officials, and energy industry leaders - gathered recently to commission the 550MW Desert Sunlight Solar Farm, located on about 3600 acres of land managed by the US Bureau of Land Management in Desert Center, Riverside County, California.  

Project owners NextEra Energy Resources LLC (a subsidiary of NextEra Energy); GE Energy Financial Services (a unit of GE); and Sumitomo Corporation of Americas all helped flip the switch for the plant's official commissioning. 

First Solar permitted, constructed and is now operating the plant, which uses over 8 million CdTe PV modules. Development began in 2008. Desert Sunlight received its right-of-way grant from the Bureau of Land Management in August 2011. Since breaking ground, the project employed an average of 440 construction workers who logged more than 3.6 million man-hours of work at the facility.

Capable of generating enough energy to power about 160,000 California homes, the Desert Sunlight Solar Farm's environmental benefits including displacing about 300,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year (equal to removing more than 60,000 cars from the road). The power generated is being provided to Pacific Gas & Electric Company and Southern California Edison, both under long-term contracts.

Tags: First Solar Thin-film photovoltaic CdTe

Visit: www.firstsolar.com

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