Major construction work begins on 579 MW Antelope Valley PV projects

The projects – the largest of their kind in the photovoltaics industry – are co-located in California’s Kern and Los Angeles counties. Around 650 workers will be employed over their three year construction period. When complete, they are expected to generate enough energy to supply approximately 400,000 average households, under two long term PPAs with Southern California Edison.

While Warren Buffet’s MidAmerican Energy Holdings subsidiary, MidAmerican Solar, owns the projects, having acquired them for between US$2 billion and US$2.5 billion (€1.5 billion and €1.9 billion) on January 2, SunPower designed and developed them, and is acting as EPC contractor. The U.S. solar company will also provide operations and maintenance services, and will kit the plants out with its Oasis Power Plant product.

"The Antelope Valley Solar Projects are already creating needed jobs and economic opportunity in local communities, while at the same time, providing direct, long-term environmental benefits," commented Paul Caudill, president of MidAmerican Solar. "We look forward to continuing our involvement in the Rosamond, Lancaster and Palmdale communities and, as we move forward, in the surrounding areas."

MidAmerican Renewables has acquired or taken stakes in a series of utility-scale photovoltaic power plants in recent years, including a 49% stake in the 290 MW Agua Caliente power plant and the full acquisition of the 550 MW Topaz Solar Farm – both of which were developed by First Solar. MidAmerican Holdings raised US$850 million in bonds for the Topaz Solar Farm purchase.