NRG Energy has completed construction of its vast 250 MW California Valley Solar Ranch (CVSR) after the installation of the project’s final panels on Wednesday.
Located in eastern San Luis Obispo County, CVSR will be fully operational in October and sell energy to Pacific Gas and Electric’s utility grid. PG&E has a 25-year power purchase agreement with CVSR, which will generate enough power for approximately 100,000 homes.
Originally designed and constructed by SunPower and Bechtel, CVSR employs SunPower Tracker technology, making it the world’s biggest photovoltaic plant using tracker technology.
With CVSR fully operational, California will be step further in meeting its 33% renewables target by 2020.
The facility began construction in 2011 and reached its first phase of operation last year.
CVSR, which is estimated to have cost US$1.6 billion to build, benefited from a number of generous federal and state subsidies and tax incentives, including a low interest $1.2 billion construction loan from the U.S. Treasury Department.
The plant has provided a boost for the area, injecting $315 million into the local San Luis Obispo economy during construction and operations, generating a $10 million in tax revenue and creating 350 jobs during construction. It also replaces production of up to 333,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.