US: 8minutenergy and Gestamp receive go ahead for 275 MW of PV projects

The large-scale utility projects will be located across around 1,700 acres of "low-productivity" farmland in Imperial Valley. In addition to the CU permits, the projects have also successfully concluded the Environmental Impact Report (EIR).

The projects in question are: the 50 MW Midway Solar Farm 1; the 155 MW Midway Solar Farm II and the 70 MW Calipatria Solar Farm II – originally expected to be 50 MW. "Our three solar farm projects will ultimately create over 300 direct and indirect construction jobs, as well as nearly 20 direct and indirect permanent, well-paying jobs in an area with high unemployment," said Martin Hermann, CEO of 8minutenergy.

Last August, the 2 companies announced their intentions to install 355 MW worth of photovoltaic plants in Imperial Valley. At the time, a Generation Interconnection Agreement (GIA) was signed for a total of 5 plants: the 50 MW Chocolate Mountains Solar Farm, the 50 MW Calipatria II Solar Farm, the 50 MW Calipatria I Solar Farm, the 50 MW Midway I system and the 155 MW Midway II system.

A spokesperson for 8minutenergy told pv magazine also at the time that the Calipatria I Solar Farm would be online by 2013, and the 2 Midway Solar Farms in 2014.

According to recent media reports, the permits for the Calipatria II Solar Farm were rescinded, following settlement negotiations between the company and environmental activists.

No further details were divulged following the companies latest announcement.