Catalina project completed

One of the largest thin film photovoltaic power plants to date in southern California has been completed. The Catalina Solar Photovoltaic Generating Facility covers some 9 acres of land and is connected to the substation via an 11.6 kilometer transmission line.

The first phase of the project was completed in December 2012. It will supply electricity to utility San Diego Gas & Electric Company under a 25 year PPA.

EDF Renewable Energy has developed the project, and is the company’s largest in North America. "The project has been an important source of direct and indirect economic activity in Kern County, including over 500 workers on-site during construction. We are pleased to mark the end of construction and commence operation," said EDF Renewable’s Mark Tholke.

The Catalina project is located adjacent to the EDF’s 140 MW Pacific Wind power plant, making the combined facilities a globally significant hybrid project.

The project is particularly interesting as it was supplied by both Japan’s Solar Frontier and First Solar. The CIGS and CdTe modules operating at such a scale side-by-side will no doubt collect revealing data on both technologies’ performance and manufactures’ execution. Solar Frontier supplied around 80 MW to the Catalina project, with First Solar supplying the remaining approximately 60 MW. SMA supplied the inverters for the project.

EPC Bechtel is currently constructing two further major solar projects in California. The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Facility will be the world’s largest CSP facility when complete and the California Velley Solar Ranch will be one the world’s largest photovoltaic power plants.